Lingua Franker

A blog about language.

Cold War echoes: Coping with Russia’s media clampdown. — October 2, 2015

Cold War echoes: Coping with Russia’s media clampdown.

Echo Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov is head of one of the few Russian media outlets that can give an independent point of view. He is both friend and foe to Vladimir Putin; constantly falling out of favour with the president as he, and his contributors, face harassment for their less-than-flattering critiques of Kremlin policy.

So how did it come to be that a man who simply vents his spleen on the airwaves, and in public, now has to be accompanied by bodyguards? Mr Venediktov came to London to explain why to the Chatham House think tank.

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Blessed are the blasphemers. — September 29, 2015

Blessed are the blasphemers.

Iceland is one country which has recently abolished blasphemy. Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or a lack of reverence for God. It may sound like a crime from a murky, illiterate and unenlightened past but it is in fact becoming all the more pertinent in the 21st century and shows just how the use of words can have life or death consequences. Other countries should follow Iceland’s┬álead.

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