TITLE

Increasing Press Repression in Russia

AUTHOR(S)
Lupis, Alex
PUB. DATE
June 2005
SOURCE
Nieman Reports;Summer2005, Vol. 59 Issue 2, p118
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article looks at the growing press repression in Russia as of August 2005. Media freedom emerged as a major theme when the senior administration officials of U.S. President George W. Bush met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in spring 2005. Public statements made after these meetings illuminate how little apparent understanding there is of the depth of Russian press repression and the decidedly undemocratic status quo that exists in that country today. Perhaps Putin's treatment by the press was related to a January 2004 meeting when Putin summoned influential television executives to the Kremlin to direct their coverage of his reelection campaign. By spring 2005, the Kremlin had purged national television of its few independent-minded journalists and current affairs shows. The Kremlin has responded to recent foreign criticism over its restrictive media policies with a feeble public relations campaign meant to demonstrate media independence. In some instances, security forces have even manufactured criminal cases to silence journalists reporting on the war in Chechnya. In some cases, journalists were silenced through more subtle means. Raf Shakirov, editor in chief of the leading daily Izvestia, was forced to resign after Russian officials, angered by the paper's coverage of a hostage crisis in the southern town of Beslan, pressured the daily's owner, Prof-Media. Izvestia had published graphic photographs of the hostage crisis and was one of the first to criticize the government for misrepresenting the number of hostages. Perpetuating this harsh reality has been a priority for the Russian government ever since Putin came to office in late 1999.
ACCESSION #
17526041

 

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