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March 11, 2014
Direct, Disquieting, PR-Assisted Reports from the Ukraine
 
In the old days, we'd be monitoring the situation in the Ukraine by shortwave radio. Now, with the Russian-engineered referendum in the Crimea on Sunday, we have the Internet, and its screen-sized deliveries of information on the situation are pretty unsettling. Like, as NPR reports, those "armed men wearing ski masks and uniforms with no insignia" at Ukraine's border with Crimea. And two Ukrainian women with pamphlets in the trunk of their car who were arrested at the border "and taken to nowhere. Nobody knows where they are."

There's also Paul Holmes reporting on his Holmes Report from Kiev on how Ukrainian public relations pros have formed the Ukraine Crisis Media Center to monitor and try to get word circulating about the Crimean situation. On the Internet, it's all in words and pictures, without that old-time shortwave static. But the words and pictures are indeed disquieting. Like CNN broadcasting from inside its hotel room in the Crimea because the management asked them not to report from its premises...

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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