UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: March 8, 301 AP.

Rovens Institute in deal with Zeitgeist Corporation

The exiled Rovens Institute (RI), the only non-government news agency for Rovens, which was forced to flee the country under threat from right-wingers, has signed a multi-million Crown deal to become an arm of the Zeitgeist Corporation.

When it was reported on Thursday that the Rovens Institute was fleeing the country after the murder of an editor and a series of threats from right-wing sources, James Angorit and Miguel Van Der Ham say they came up with the same idea at the same time. The deal has been accepted by the news agency to be financially supported by the Zeitgeist Corporation (ZC) in exchange for exclusive access to stories.

The news agency is currently fleeing the capital Haastadt, and setting up an office in the Utanian city of Luka. Zeitgeist Corporation will then provide the freelance journalists back in Rovens, who largely remain nameless for fear of death threats, with secure software to email their stories back to the Luka office for dissemination. RI would also have a web site on which stories would be posted for free use by the people of Rovens.

Mr Van Der Ham said the deal would cost ZC no more than Û2 million initially, and then a fee for each of the stories. "We intend to keep RI alive and well, and able to provide the people of Rovens with an independent news service", Mr Van Der Ham said.

The is not particularly welcomed by the PIMR-lead government of Rovens, but it is liked even less by right-wing groups in Rovens, who have long despised the news agency for its open criticism of the Army's handling of the communist rebels and, particularly, of territory that is under military control. Many journalists who have authored such stories have been murdered, and police rarely catch the guilty.

"It is a tragedy that we must flee Rovens", said William Tovolu, RI's Chief Publisher, "But the country is no longer safe for free-thinking, democratically-committed journalism. This is the greatest tragedy of all."

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)