The Death of Journalism

Anonymous letter are gone. We now have pseudonyms

It is very hard to wash away the dirt from a snow-white shirt. You can try as much as you wish, but some spots will remain all the same. The writers of anonymous letters knew that rule very well back in the Soviet period. An anonymous letter used to be a very efficient means for a political struggle. Those letters would be written in kitchens, in party committees, in kindergartens, in police stations – everywhere. Those letters were basically written either by small kids, or by experienced police officers, in order to avoid the identifying characteristics of individual handwriting.

As a rule, an anonymous letter was awaited before it actually arrived. Such a letter was basically used to slander. Sometimes, a person was forced to commit suicide over an anonymous slander.

A neighbor of mine, military pilot Ivan Merezhko, a Hero of the Soviet Union, was devastated by an anonymous letter fifteen years ago. He said that he had to go to a special committee to deal with the issue. The chairman of the committee told him that the walls of his dacha were 15 centimeters higher than they was supposed to be. “They told me that I had to make my walls shorter. I do not know what kind of people they were. I think that the vile committee had both madmen and hangmen altogether. A sober man would never write an anonymous letter to report higher walls to the authorities. However, it happened to me!” said Ivan.

Pilot Ivan Merezhko used to down German planes during World War II, and no one cared in whose airspace he was flying. However, when the war was over, someone calculated that his roof was higher than anyone else’s. This was the reason for his troubles that he had to go through for three years running.

Nowadays, an anonymous letter doesn’t mean anything. If an anonymous letter comes into the picture, it has no legal standing.

However, such people will never give up. They are back, and they have simply invented another form of the anonymous letter, which is used for the same purpose all the same. Now, it’s called the pseudonym.

Articles signed by fictitious names are basically the same as anonymous letters. The number of such articles grows on the threshold of big political events, elections, for example. Someone, who signed himself as Dmitry Remezov, wrote a foul article for a large Moscow newspaper about a respectable institution in the city of Volgograd. The article was completely mean, cowardly, stupid, and mendacious.

It did not even occur to the people who read that article that there was no such journalist in Volgograd or in Russia. This is a classic example of a provocative article, which is like blackmail. The article was written under the disguise of public and political text. However, an experienced journalist can easily see the so-called logic. The Moscow mass media receives orders for black propaganda during elections.

The authors that hide behind pseudonyms can do without any offices. They can bring their own production directly to a newspaper. Five or six employees of a newspaper do the rest of the job, keeping it secret from the personnel. Needless to mention, this job brings in a good deal of income: no taxes, just cash.

It goes without saying that such things are done by shameless, greedy people: hacks! They are ready to write good or bad articles for any public figure at any moment. The only thing that they want is money in their pocket.

This means the end of journalism. It is almost impossible to watch television now or to read tabloids, with their pornography, dirty language, and lies. Now we also have these pseudo-writers. On the other hand, it is very easy to unmask them. It is not that hard to find out the people who are interested in this or that publication. It is easy to find those who approved the actual publication as well. Those people split the payment between them, which is actually the only goal of the whole operation. Unfortunately, no one wants to deal with the issue.

Andrey Cherkasov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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