Commenting on Brussels' recent declaration that the EU would redouble its efforts to counter the influence of Russian media, Serbian journalist Slobodan Reljic noted that the increasingly frantic commentary about countering "Russian propaganda" shows that the West likes to tout adherence to the principle of competition, until it starts to lose.
Earlier this week, the EU Foreign Service showed off a new media plan aimed at countering the influence of Russian foreign-language media, noting that Brussels will have to strengthen its work with national regulators, and adding that the EU will go on the media offensive by creating a new Foreign Service cell charged with the "promotion of EU policies" in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
With the EU plan talking about Russia's "misuse" of mass communications tools, Brussels-based newspaper EUobserver went further, charging "some Russian media, such as RT or Sputnik [with] broadcasting fabrications and hate speech from their bureaus in EU cities."
Commenting on the plans and commentary, Slobodan Reljic, former editor-in-chief of esteemed weekly news magazine NIN, told Sputnik that with Russian media achieving considerable popularity among European audiences, "the West's attack on Russian media was only a matter of time."
"The West shouts loudly about competition," Reljic stated. "But when Western media begins to lose out to someone else, they do not tolerate such competition."
According to the veteran journalist, "the bottom line is that Western media creates for itself the image of being independent and free, but in reality it's a propaganda machine, which takes an active role in all the major forms of economic and political manipulation."
In Reljic's view, now "the time has come for war propaganda, and Western media have been turned into a weapon in their own right. In principle there is nothing new here. The only distinction is that this transformation is occurring more and more openly."
Commenting on Brussels' new plans on Wednesday, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan pointed out the ridiculousness of attempting to stifle Russian foreign language media when there are "hundreds of [other] newspapers, television channels and radio stations which set out only one point of view on what is happening in the world." She noted that if after all their efforts, the US and the EU still have the gall to complain "that they are losing the 'information war' against Russia, perhaps it's time to realize that people are just tired of the one-sided news coverage of the mainstream media."
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