It sounds like a distant planet in a dystopian sci fi movie, and the place itself doesn't disappoint. Welcome to Transnistria, a tiny strip of land measuring less than 15 miles wide. Long linked to organised crime, the government here doesn't take too kindly to journalists, so for a special report with Channel 4 News, we went in undercover.
With the common mantra that "sex sells" and the idea that we have now reached a cultural peak of sexual openness and opportunity, a so-called 'post-feminist' outlook might argue that women today are now more sexually empowered to make a broader range of sexual choices. But whilst it's laudable that women are allowed to be sexual and openly enjoy sex; surely empowerment would be doing that on our own terms?
We are amid the greatest revolution human life has ever known - the liberation of communication - in the hands of the many as well as that dangerous few. Yes of course the danger is there - the danger that what we call news maybe hijacked, distorted, lied about, propogandised. But today I argue that we stand at the dawn of the golden age of what we have come to describe as journalism. The mediation of information by individuals, collectives, groups, whom WE have the very individual powers to choose.
"It's our money," said one clipped voice in the back row, "so we should have the right to scrutinise what they do with it." He may have been a single audience member in Sunday's episode of The Big Questions, but this rattled taxpayer summed up everything that is wrong with Benefits Street - the urban zoo that has slammed Channel 4's ratings into high gear.
Not only does Benefits Street propagate the myth of the work-shy, morally reprehensible benefits scrounger, it also neglects the majority of benefits claimants. Contrary to popular belief, most are not on unemployment benefits. In fact, the largest part of the welfare bill is spent on state pensions, with disability benefits and family benefits also coming in costing substantially more than unemployment.