In the modern post-Soviet era of the Russian government, journalists have a limited power when it comes to press. Most of the publications in Russia are state-controlled in which the government has the power on what type of news it is revealing. This hinders the journalists’ duties to uncover and investigate stories within Russia. Only three broadcast stations are international while the other hundreds of publications are independent. However, it has been increasingly difficult to be an independent media source in Russia since the election of Vladimir Putin in 2000.
Who are the Journalists?
Most journalists working within Russia I have found to be predominately male ranging from about 25 to 55 years old. These reporters are mostly Caucasian natives to Russia.
What is it like to report in Russia?
The Russia is ranked 180 out of 199 countries with press freedom according to
PolitiFact. This number has continually dropped since Putin’s initial election. Russia is below countries for press freedom such as Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So, this shows the true limitation of what Russian journalists can not only report on, but share with the public. Because there is blocking and control on websites within Russia, broadcast is a huge area of opportunity to get the public properly informed. However, the control that the Russian government has on its media sources, restricts journalists from reporting on more controversial topics.
Russia is deemed with assassinating journalists. The most controversial journalist that was murdered was Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. She was one of the 34 journalists that have been assassinated since 2000. Anna was renowned for her critiques on the Russian government and topics of human rights during the time of the war with Chechnya. She had been shot and killed in her apartment after receiving numerous death threats. Anna is just one of the many that had been murdered due to the nature of their reporting and disseminating information. Although Putin is not directly linked to ordering the assassination, he has created a social and political climate to where most journalists that are murdered become unsolved mysteries that there is no culprit accounted for.
The culture around the media completely influences what journalists cover and how close to the restrictions they are willing to go to uncover secrets about the government and their state. Compared to other journalists in their region, Russia is blatantly more controlled and regulated in terms of media communications and coverage.
Most Influential Russian Journalists Today
Andrei Babitsky: an infamous Russian journalist known for his coverage on the Chechen wars in Russia. Babitsky became the face of coverage for the Chechen wars because of his deep sympathy for the people. After being labeled a traitor and a Kremlin critic for his works, he started reporting in Donestk, Ukraine. Shortly after his reporting in Donestk, he was let go from his long-term employment in Russia and began to pursue the launching of a new television channel according to The Guardian.
Alexander Podrabinek: Russian journalist and human rights activist. Podrabinek
exposed the Soviet Union for punitive psychiatric practice and became a political prisioner and internally exiled from the USSR for five years. Podrabinek is known for his psychiatric books and articles, and continues to be involved in mainstream media today.
Andrey Vladimirovich Kolesnikov: Russian journalist and author. He served as deputy editor for The New Times in Russia. Kolesnikov is also a columnist and most known for being a political journalist.
This Weeks News Coverage
The Moscow Times reported an article on the leaking of information between Putin and his associates in affiliation with other world leaders in a major money laundering scandal. The leak of papers called the Panama Papers is a detailed list of all the transactions between Putin and his administration and off-shore sanctioned bank accounts to Switzerland and Panama. The total transactions that was calculated was about $2 billion dollars for Putin and his close associates. The story broke after a year long investigation.
Read the full article here.
The Moscow Times covered exactly enough information that the reader needed to know about this breaking news story. It gave us information about who was at fault and what the reasons were and the end result without the reader getting lost in the information. I believe it was a very important and informative article that unveils the corruption within Putin’s Regime.