Category Archives: Worth reading

Putin’s inauguration speeches in 2000 and 2012

In addition to my earlier post I have used to create a word cloud based on inauguration speeches of Vladimir Putin in 2000 and 2012.

An exercise for you called “spot the difference”?

Inauguration speech of V. Putin in 2000. Total count of words – 808 words.

Inauguration speech of V. Putin in 2012. The total word count – only 583 words!

Putin’s inauguration speech today

“Dear friends” Vladimir Putin (just like in May 2000) started his inauguration speech today at the Kremlin where he, for the third time in the history of Russia, became the president. Exactly like in 2000, Putin, at the beginning of his speech, mentioned how much responsibility he feels for his COUNTRY and his PEOPLE and that he will do everything to keep the trust of the people.

It almost goes without saying, that the issue of DEMOCRACY was brought up, but it is the STABILITY and CONTINUITY that counts most. Of course he mentioned our great history, difficult past, decisive years to come and hopes in a great, promising future for each single citizen of Russia. He continued by saying that “We will achieve our goals if we are a united and cohesive nation, if we cherish our Motherland, strengthen Russian democracy, constitutional rights and freedoms, encourage citizens’ participation in governing the country, in shaping the national agenda.” But let me stop here for a moment… about Russian gay movement protesters that  are constantly rejected, attacked, censored and can’t even publicly demonstrate their rights? What about arrests of thousands of protesters for “Fair Election” including many journalists and political figures? Aren’t they trying to “participate in governing the country, shaping the nation’s agenda”?

One thing actually stroke me in his speech. In 2000 Putin appealed to people who voted for a different candidate, saying that we should still work together for our common future. Who knows why our newly elected President did not even wished to bring this topic up in his 2012 inauguration speech?

Nothing new in this world….. Nothing new in Putin’s speech….. Nothing new in Putin’s presidency?

“Dear friends,

Assuming the Presidency of the Russian Federation, I understand all my responsibilities to my country. Its interests, safety, welfare of citizens of the country have always been and will always remain for me above everything else. I will do everything to earn the trust of millions of citizens. I believe that the meaning of my life and my duty is to serve my motherland, serve our people, whose support encourages and helps to solve the most complex and difficult tasks.

Together we have gone through a long and difficult path, we have believed in ourselves, in our force, we have strengthened the country, regained the dignity of a great nation, the world saw a revival of Russia, and this is the result of the efforts of our people, common hard work, where there is a personal contribution of each of you. Today we have all to move forward, to build up: a capable and growing state, a strong economic and social base, active and responsible civil society. I see a great merit of Dmitry Medvedev in that. His presidency has provided the continuity and sustainability of the country, gave further impulses to the modernization of all aspects of our lives. Ahead of him there are very complex and responsible tasks. I wish him good luck.

Today we are entering a new phase of national development, we need to solve the problems of a completely different level, of different quality and size. The coming years will be decisive for the fate of Russia in the decades ahead. And we all need to understand that the life of future generations, the historical perspective of the state and our nation depends today mainly on us, on the real progress in creating a new economy and modern standards of living, on our efforts to care and support people and Russian families, on our persistence to arrange the huge Russian territory from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean, on our ability to become leaders and the center of attraction for the whole of Eurasia.

We will achieve our goals if we are a united and cohesive nation, if we cherish our Motherland, strengthen Russian democracy, constitutional rights and freedoms, encourage citizens’ participation in governing the country, in shaping the national agenda. The desire of each of us for a better life should be embedded in the joint work for the prosperity of the country. We will succeed if we rely on a solid foundation of cultural and spiritual traditions of our multinational people, on our ancient history, on the values that have always been the moral basis of our lives, if each of us lives according to conscience, faith and love for our homeland and our loved ones, taking care of our children’s happiness and well-being of our parents. We want and we will live in a democratic country where everyone has the freedom and space for applying one’s talent and labor. We want and we will be living in the successful Russia, which is respected worldwide as a reliable, open, fair and predictable partner. I believe in the power of our common goals and ideals, in our determination to transform the country by the joint actions of citizens, in our common wish for freedom, truth and justice.We are ready for future tests and future challenges. Russia has a great history and also a great future. And we will work with the faith in soul, with a sincere and pure thoughts.

Thank you!”

For people travelling to Ukraine for EURO 2012 as measles continue to rise

According to the Epidemiological Service, there has been a large measles outbreak  in Ukraine. At least  8756 cases have been registered from January 1 to May 1. Total number of cases of measles in 2012 is predicted to reach about 18 thousand. Measles is a dangerous respiratory infection caused by a virus that can lead to severe complications. It is highly contagious and is spread through respiration. Typical symptoms include fever, cough, running nose, red eyes and rash.

For those travelling to support their football teams in Ukraine EURO 2012, do not forget to get a vaccination first.

Vladimir Putin’s inauguration speech back in May 2000

7 of May Vladimir Putin will pronounce his inauguration speech and will take back his place at the Kremlin for a six-year term. Before his new inauguration speech next Monday, I have translated the speech he made in May 2000 into English. The idea will be to analyze and compare the two inauguration speeches of Vladimir Putin, identifying the similarities and differences if there will be any by using discourse analysis and at a later stage, applying several of my favorite visualization tools.

For the speech in Russian language please check here.

Dear citizens of Russia, dear friends!
Today, I appeal to you, yes to all of  you, because you have entrusted me the highest position in the country. I understand that I took an enormous responsibility, and I know the head of the state in Russia has always been and will be a person who is responsible for everything what happens in the country. The first Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, leaving the Kremlin, today reminded this, uttered the words that many remember. Today in this room, he repeated: “Take care of Russia.” It is exactly in this that I see the main duty of the president. I will also require the fulfillment of this duty from my colleagues at work. I also expect to find support from the citizens of Russia, from all who cares for the destiny of our country, in this patriotic case.

Today I want to thank my supporters and all those who voted for me in the election. You supported those first steps that have already been made. You believe that together we can change our lives for  better. I am deeply grateful to you for that. But I understand that your support is only the advance of power in general and, of course, to me, who today enters the office of President of the country.

I appeal to those who voted for other candidates. I am sure that you voted for our common future, for our common goals for a better life, a prosperous and strong Russia. Each of us has our own experiences, own point of  views, but we should be together, we have much to do together.

Today is truly a historic day, and I want  to focus on it one more time. In fact, for the first time in the history of our country, the history of Russia, the supreme power in the country is given in the most democratic, easiest way, according to the will of the people, legally and peacefully. The change of power – is always a control of the constitutional system, testing its strength. Yes, it is not the first test and, obviously, not the last, but we have managed to overcome it. We have proved that Russia is becoming a modern democratic state. The peaceful succession of power is an essential element of political stability  we are dreaming of and  seeking for.

The path to a free society was not simple and easy, there have been both tragic and bright pages in our history. Building a democratic state is far from complete, but a lot has been done already. We must cherish the achievements, preserve and develop democracy, we must  make the government, elected by the people, work in their interests, to protect Russian citizens everywhere, in our country and abroad, in order to serve the community. This is a principled, hardline position, I defended and intends to defend in the future.

For the sake of today’s grand event, we have gathered here today in the Kremlin, in a holy place for our people. Here in the Kremlin lies the center of our national memory. Here, in the walls of the Kremlin, the centuries of history of our country was made, and we have no right to be “Ivan the Fool, forgetting his roots.” We must not forget anything, we need to know our history, know it for what it is, to extract lessons from it, always remembering those who formed the Russian state, defended its dignity, made it a great, respected, powerful state. We will keep this memory, and we will keep the connection between times; and all the best of our history, we will pass on to our descendants.

Dear citizens of Russia!

We believe in ourselves,we believe that we can truly  transform our country for better. We have common goals, we want our Russia to be free, prosperous, rich, strong, civilized country; a country that is proud of its citizens and that  is respected in the world. In recent months, both in Moscow and at meetings in the Russian regions, I felt your understanding and your support, and very often, from the most ordinary people in the squares and streets of our cities, I have heard  very simple but very important for me words. I was told: “We believe you, we have hopes in you, just do not deceive us.”

I can assure you that my actions will be guided only in the national interest. I may not be able to avoid mistakes, but I can promise and do promise, that I am going to work openly and honestly.

I think it is my  sacred duty to unite the Russian people, to gather people around clear goals and objectives, and every day and every minute to remember that we have one Motherland, one nation; we have a common future together.

Thank you!

Moscow, Kremlin, 07.05.2000″

Pictures and thoughts from Perugia IJF 2012

Wadah Khanfar - ex director of Al Jazeera

Wadah Khanfar gave a Keynote speech at Teatro Pavone in Perugia that greatly inspired the audience, including me. To be honest, it was probably the most interesting and, in a sense, revolutionary speech at the festival. He resigned from Al Jazeera a few months ago because, according to his speech, he wanted to become  part of a new media that is going through a huge transformation period that, eventually, will lead to futuristic integral media that will use more and more citizen journalism. He said that big news corporations  that only seek to be competitive with other newsrooms and to broadcast VIP people will DIE! They will die also because they often forget that their mission is to serve the people and not interests, power, governments or organizations. During his speech, he noted many times that social media and the bloggers are the future and that big news organizations will turn more and more to Facebook, Twitter or whatever comes next, to gather news stories. Due to high expenses, news organizations will no longer send their correspondents, journalists to places to cover the events; they will use zero costs or  low costs citizen journalists via social media. Wadah Khanfar encouraged everyone in the audience to become more media active and start producing stories with your smart phones or other devices that are relevant to you or a small group of people. The last but not the least, he challenged the audience by saying that a good journalist, if he knows that his news organization serves the interests of not only the people, should resign! Indeed, a fresh way at looking at the current and future state of the media.

Charlie Beckett - director POLIS London School of Economics; Evgeny Morozov - journalist, author of "The Net Delusion"

I also enjoyed very much 3 panel discussions with Evgeny Morozov – the author of “The Net Delusion”.

Kristinn Hrafnsson - spokesperson of Wikileaks

After a panel discussion on “Wikileaks. The Italian Secrets”, I had a short chat with Kristinn Hrafnsson on the case of the US soldier Bradley Manning.

Andy Carvin - National Public Radio

Andy Carvin, National Public Radio’s senior product manager for online communities, also gave an inspiring  Kaynote Speech at Teatro Pavone. The Columbia Journalism Review referred to Carvin as a “living, breathing real-time verification system” and suggested his might be the best Twitter account to follow in the world. Andy used his Twitter account to cover the breaking news about the Arab Spring. In 2011, he and his Twitter followers utilized crowd sourced research to debunk false stories that Israeli weapons were being used against the people of Libya. Here is an interesting article from the Guardian who calls him “the man who tweets revolutions”.

IJF 2012 in Perugia

I have just come back from the International Festival of Journalism in Perugia where I participated in more than 40 discussion panels and workshops in 4 days. I am amazed  how my brain managed to squeeze so much new information about the current and the future state of the media in Europe and not only. A part from really really bad internet connection at the festival, the organization, including very helpful volunteers and staff, was simply great. I will dedicate a few more separate posts about the most interesting workshops and speeches I have attended.  I am already missing Perugia and can’t wait to join the festival next year.

Facebook Fans of news websites

Italian news websites and their Facebook Fans

Italian online news websites - Facebook Fans

                                   German news websites and their Facebook Fans

Facebook Fans of German online news websites

English news websites without BBC and their Facebook Fans. BBC on March 31, 2012 had more than 1, 746, 126 Fans.

Facebook Fans of English news websites without BBC

Use of social media by journalists across Europe

In January 2012 Eurobarometer has published a qualitative study on the use of social media by journalists. The study consisted of  interviews with 5 journalists in each of the 27 Member States countries. Most of the journalists had ten to twenty years of experience, mainly in one type of media. Interesting to note, that most of them preferred to use social media in their own language, even though they can speak  and work in English.

Most of the journalists interviewed use social media at work, especially Facebook and Twitter. However most journalists use Facebook also for private affairs, whereas Twitter predominately for work.  Among other social tools the journalists indicated Myspace, YouTube, Blogs and Wikis. There is probably nothing new in the results. But have a look at the mind maps. Twitter and Facebook in use by journalists at work across European countries.

The two maps looked almost the same. Check these two mind maps of the usage of Twitter and Facebook privately, outside the working environment. There is a clear distinction between Twitter and Facebook use. Facebook – use a lot also for private use; Twitter – only at work.

The journalists were also asked to specify the reasons for using social media at work and, as it turned out, most of the journalists are passive users who just check what is going on on certain web sites in order to be up-to-date. There are also active users who search for information and supplement traditional sources, but not replace them. There is also a small number of  interactive users who actually inform the audience about their programmes, communicate their messages to the people and respond to various posts.

Journalists do use social media tools like Facebook or Twitter in a passive, active  or interactive way. The main findings of the study concluded that social media is, by now, considered to be useful for newsrooms and very easy to use.



Eurobarometer Qualitative Study (2012): Journalism and Social Media. Last accessed 27 March, 2012.



International Festival of Journalism

An awful sleepless night  before my last exam this winter session in Media Politics, Globalization, Ethics and Law. 6 a.m 23 of March Friday. Shower – done. Breakfast – done. Take the dog outside – yessss. Nice clothes to wear – ready. Time to check my emails. 27 e-mails, as usual nothing seemed new or interesting – Facebook, Twitter, Groupon – Liliana Bounegru: Place offer (please confirm asap). Really? 8 a.m. time to go. To go where? Exam? What exam? Who cares after all?

I was offered a place to take part in a Data-driven journalism workshop “Getting stories from Data” at the  International Festival of Journalism in Perugia (Italy). The festival takes place every year in Perugia. It offeres many free panels, workshops, documentaries, keynote speeches and many more activities.  Journalists, students, media specialists, news agencies from all over the world gather to discuss the current media trends in the society.

Among the 400 speakers who will attend the festival this year are: Kristinn Hrafnsson – spokesperson for WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Blau – editor of Die Zeit, Roman Anin – investigative journalist from Novaya Gazeta, Clive Edwards – ex editor for current affairs at BBC, Evgeny Morozov – journalist and author of the Net Delusion, Marco Travaglio and many more.

Cheap German wings tickets – bought. A nice hotel in the center of Perugia – booked. Subscription to various workshops – done. Speakers for the possible interviews – contacted. And now – a lot of patience.


Putin according to the online media…

Who is Vladimir Putin according to the online media? Ex Prime-Minister? President? Macho? Zar?

A short analysis of the metaphors and other stylistic choices that are used by the online journalists  across languages to refer to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – newly elected president of the Russian Federation.  For the analysis I considered only headlines from online news websites in several european languages and Russian before the Presidential Elections on 4 March 2012 and one day after it.  The headlines used for the analysis came from the results of the advanced search(keyword Putin) from the following web-site:


During the first hours after the elections on the 5th of March something has changed. Or is it just me?