Could you imagine that the senior editor and editorial staff of either New York Times, Le Monde, Neue Züricher Zeitung, Franfurte Allgemeine Zeitung, Helsingin Sanomat, Hürriyet, or El Mundo would resign after newspaper came into hands of new owners and later be literally pushed out from premises by legal personnel? When 50% of journalists support motives of those who resigned openly with their signatures, could you imagine that your morning paper would be the same independent quality paper? If you can imagine such turn of events, then literally that is what happened in Latvia yesterday, after senior editor Nellija Ločmele and her colleagues resigned, and hang on in their webpage whilst planning to launch a new paper media channel some time in near future.
Even though "Diena" paper edition is in front of me whilst I drink my morning coffee, it is the last time I do it I am afraid. With such a massive resignation I do not believe that "Diena"could ever regain its status as a paper that proclaims liberal views of a heterogeneous world. Yesterday, they were not only quality journalists who resigned, but it was also an end of a certain post-independence epoch in Latvia. If free press is stifled, which at the present moment is only my personal hunch, then there is a short distance to the rule of "vertical of power". While following the news and seeing planned budget cuts and consequent emasculation of the Latvian public media, and now "Diena" walkout I am turning into a very, very contemplative mood about the state of democracy in Latvia... .