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Friday, August 25, 2006

Radio Continent returning to Kyiv airways

According to a trusted source in Ukraine, Serhiy Sholokh of Radio Kontynent is feeling a bit like Santa Claus these days:

Yes, it is my present for all of you, MY DEAR FRIENDS for the Independence Day!!! [Just] turn your FM radio to 94.2. It is new frequency, new license, new life of [Radio] Continent. But..... some day 100.9 will be back like only JAZZ FM!!!"

This Ukrainian Weekly article (an interview with Serhiy) describes what happened to Radio Kontynent.

On March 3 Radio Kontynent, 100.9 FM, which re-broadcast programming of BBC, VOA, Deutche Welle, Radio Polonia, and ... Radio Liberty ... was shut down when ... Ukraine's State Agency for Radio Frequencies issued an order to close down the station.

Other articles on the shut-down here and here. A press statement by the US government here. A letter to then-president Kuchma by the International Press Institute here.

Chilling to see just how authoritarian pre-Orange Ukraine was becoming. All well worth reading to get a good sense of the times, as well as to realize and appreciate what we in the west, especially in North America, take so much for granted.

I know there's a lot of disappointment and frustration with the political shenanigans in post-Orange Ukraine.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the Orange Revolution did usher in an era of media freedom ... and it will be very hard to put that genie back in the bottle!

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