Russian Government Uses Ownership, Intimidation to Encroach on Media Freedom

Russian Government Uses Ownership, Intimidation to Encroach on Media Freedom

From May 28 through June 1, the International Federation of Journalists held its 26th World Congress in Moscow. The hundreds of media representatives present chose the Russian capital as their venue for the prestigious triennial event in part to draw international attention to the Russian government's encroachment against media freedoms.

In March 2007, the U.S. State Department published its 2006 Reports on Human Rights Practices, which reviews civil rights practices in foreign countries. The report on Russia, whose dismal findings were echoed the following month in a separate State Department assessment on global media freedoms, warned that the Russian government continues to reduce media freedoms through a variety of direct and indirect measures.

Russian federal and local government bodies already partially or completely own thousands of television and radio stations and continue to acquire ownership of additional outlets. At present, the state owns two of the three national television stations, Rossiya and Channel One. In January 2001, Gazprom -- a company closely tied to the Kremlin --took control of NTV, the remaining station, in a forced takeover arranged by the new Putin administration. Russian authorities can also influence the coverage of even many nominally independent broadcasting companies by exploiting their financial dependence on pro-Putin financial and industrial groups, some of which own controlling stakes in nongovernmental media companies.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review