Kazakh journalist Guljan Yergaliyeva has chosen an attention-grabbing way to promote the new media outlet she launched today, called Guljan – by stripping on YouTube.
“It’s necessary to act,” Yergaliyeva tells the camera as she removes her jacket to reveal a spotted bra. She then turns her back and walks away from the camera while taking off all her clothes – with the exception of a teetering pair of shiny stilettos.
“We’ll overcome all barriers and look truth in the eye,” Yergaliyeva says, before walking away from the camera naked with a cheery wave.
This is a controversial way to launch a website, but then Yergaliyeva – who resigned as editor of the Svoboda Slova newspaper earlier this year – is no stranger to controversy: She’s known for her hard-hitting reporting, frequently critical of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s administration. In 2006 she was briefly imprisoned for taking part in an unsanctioned rally protesting the murder of opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbayev.
Guljan promises to tell it like it is in a media environment where the handful of independent outlets that exist operate under intense pressure. EurasiaNet.org reported earlier this year about the lengths the Respublika newspaper has to go to in order to publish its critical reporting, using a form of crude samizdat. Indeed, since then the newspaper has announced that it’s abandoning its print version this fall and sticking to the online format – where it has to play a game of cat and mouse to evade blocking, resorting to measures such as publishing on Facebook.
Now news junkies have a gutsy new outlet to turn to in the form of Guljan, which is promoting itself with the slogan “better the naked truth than a dandy lie.”