Articles by Irina Petrovskaya



When Television Imitates Freedom of Speech

If you keep repeating the word ""chocolate,"" it does not make life any sweeter. The same holds true for the words ""free speech.""

Reality Show 'Big Brother' a Tad Too Realistic

First there was ""Za Steklom,"" or ""Behind Glass,"" Russia's first reality show.

Defective TV Detectives and Hawkish Hacks

In a recent edition of his outstanding television show ""Istoricheskiye Khroniki,"" or ""Historical Chronicles,"" Nikolai Svanidze told the story of Andrei Vyshinsky, chief prosecutor and propagandist during the Great Purge trials in Moscow in the 1930s.

TV Ads Tout Cheerful Idiots and Kept Women

International Women's Day is a good occasion to discuss advertising on television.

New TV Channel Inspires Chagrin, Not Pride

Zvezda, the new patriotic television channel that is quite literally continuing the best traditions of the Soviet Army, began broadcasting on Feb. 22, the eve of the national holiday honoring the defenders of the fatherland.

TV Debate Truly Disturbs, Demeans, Distorts

Two scandals related to television erupted earlier this month. One came from abroad, from Britain, while the other was a purely homegrown production.

The Real Practical Joke Is on State TV Viewers

NTV news had the story of the week last week: the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $6.5 million to $7.5 million water park in the Chechen city of Gudermes.

The Regime and State TV Tangled in PR Trap

No, state television was far from silent as the idea of replacing social benefits with cash payments took hold in the Kremlin.

Children of Ostankino Need 'A Moscow Saga'

In 1989, the filmmaker Tofik Shakhverdiyev made a documentary called ""Stalin s Nami?"" or ""Is Stalin With Us?""

Ukraine Teaches Big Brother a Tough Lesson

Outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma titled his book ""Ukraine Is Not Russia."" Apparently he knew what he was talking about.

Coup de Grace for Svoboda Slova and NTV

For the last three years, Savik Shuster opened NTV's political debate show ""Svoboda Slova,"" or ""Freedom of Speech,"" with the line: ""On this show only time and I, Savik Shuster, restrict freedom of speech.""

Voting and Forgetting

Six months from now this will all be forgotten like a bad dream,"" celebrity spin doctor Gleb Pavlovsky said on the election night edition of Svoboda Slova, or Freedom of Speech, on NTV.

Petersburger Turkmenbashi's Talent for Tales

Another name was added to the list of Petersburgers in top leadership positions last week -- in far-off Ashgabat. St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko pulled into the Turkmen capital on Feb. 19 to attend birthday celebrations for Saparmurat Niyazov, president-for-life of Turkmenistan, or the great Turkmenbashi for short.

Nothing But the Good Stuff on State Television

The state-owned television channel Rossia served up a surprise last week when it featured Akhmad Kadyrov on the program ""Geroi dnya bez galstuka"" (Hero of the Day Without a Tie).

Party Campaigns and Petrine Wisdom

Disgusting. Utterly vapid and unbearably dull at times. But useful all the same. The true benefit of live televised debates was concisely defined by none other than Peter the Great, who ordered the senators of his day to make their speeches without referring to notes -- ""so that the foolishness of each would be apparent to all.""

Television Trying to Forget 'Nord Ost' Tragedy

The tragedy that played out on Oct. 23, 2002, at the Dubrovka theater has been called the ""Russian 9/11.""

NTV's 10th Birthday No Cause for Celebration

Precious little remains of NTV's cache as a voice of opposition. Editorially the station is all bark.

Sports? The Economy? The Party That Delivers

""The Center,"" aired on Channel One, was less a film than a 40-minute campaign spot for United Russia.