Russian government censorship of Chechnya coverage


Russian government censorship of Chechnya coverage

At the start of the Second Chechen War in 1999 federal authorities had designed and introduced a comprehensive system to control media access to the battlefield. [ [http://www.worldpress.org/Europe/2048.cfm Smokescreen Around Chechnya] Francesca Mereu and Simon Saradzhyan The Moscow Times March 18, 2005]

Chechen conflict

The Russian government's control of all Russian television stations and its use of repressive rules, harassment, censorship, intimidation [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/monitoring/media_reports/615937.stm Russian TV accuses military of censorship ] Yuriy Lipatov BBC News January 23, 2000] and attacks on journalists, including the kidnapping of Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky by the Russian military, almost completely deprived the Russian public of the independent information on the conflict. Local journalists in Chechnya face intense harassment and obstruction [ [http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/68793/ KREMLIN STIFLES CRITICAL COVERAGE OF CHECHNYA] IFEX] , while foreign journalists and media outlets are pressured into censoring their reports on the conflict, [ [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/01/27/005.html Silencing Chechnya] Timur Aliev The Moscow Times January 27, 2005.] making it nearly impossible for journalists to provide balanced coverage of Chechnya.

Since 2001, with the headlines dominated by news of the Israeli-Arab conflict and the U.S.-led War on Terrorism, the conflict has been almost completely forgotten by the international media. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4063033.stm Chechnya: 10 years of conflict] BBC News December 2, 2004] Few Russian journalists continue to cover the Chechen conflict, and even fewer dare to criticize the government, instead choosing self-censorship. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,1299077,00.html Inquiry urged into 'poisoning' of Russian journalist] Claire Cozens The Guardian September 7, 2004]

In 2005, the Duma passed the law making the journalists being able to have access to and publish information about terrorist attacks only with permission from those directing counter-terrorist operations. [ [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/01/27/005.html Silencing Chechnya] Timur Aliev The Moscow Times January 27, 2005.] On August 2, 2005, responding to the airing of an interview with Shamil Basayev, Moscow banned journalists of the American Broadcasting Company network from working in Russia. [ [http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/08/bd6cbe20-5fd8-4d0f-96a5-b1d20554233f.html Russia: Moscow Says It Will Punish U.S. TV Network Over Basaev Interview] RadioFreeEurope RadioLiberty August 3, 2005]

In 2006, the Duma approved the Law on Fighting Extremist Activity, broadening the definition of "extremism" to include media criticism of public officials and provide for imprisonment of up to three years for journalists and the suspension or closure of their publications. [ [http://www.wan-press.org/article11428.html Russia’s "Extremism" Law Should Be Withdrawn: WAN] World Association of Newspapers July 13, 2006] The law was used to used same year to shut down the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society [ [http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/10/c67da039-4c46-4dec-9c74-951978c299c5.html Russian-Chechen Friendship Society Closed] RadioFreeEurope RadioLiberty October 14, 2006] and convicted its executive director Stanislav Dmitrievsky of "extremist" activities. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/20/AR2006102001242.html The Darkness Spreading Over Russia] Carl Gershman The Washington Post October 21, 2006]

Also in 2006, Moscow journalist Boris Stomakhin was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of "inciting ethnic hatred" in his reports about the conflict in Chechnya. [ [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/11/21/002.html Editor Jailed for His Coverage of Chechnya] Maria Levitov The Moscow Times November 21, 2006] On 7 October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, Russian journalist and political activist well known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and Russian authorities, was shot dead in Moscow in an apparent contract killing.

In March 2007, a Levada Center poll asked Russians how they thought the situation in Chechnya was covered in the Russian media: 49 percent said they thought the coverage does not give a clear sense of what is happening, while 28 percent said it is not objective and "hides" the problems that exist there. Only 11 percent said they were happy with media coverage of Chechnya. [ [http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=421&issue_id=4037&article_id=2372009 POLL FINDS A PLURALITY OF RUSSIANS DISTRUST RAMZAN] The Jamestown Foundation March 15, 2007]

In September 2007, police and security forces in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia were issued orders to stop informing the media of any "incidents of a terrorist nature." [ [http://www.rferl.org/newsline/2007/10/1-rus/rus-031007.asp INGUSHETIA BANS REPORTING ON 'TERRORIST ACTS.'] Radio Free Europe October 3, 2007]

Practically all the local Chechen media are now under total control of the pro-Moscow Chechen government of Ramzan Kadyrov. Fact|date=March 2007

Beslan hostage crisis

In several incidents reporters critical of the Russian government could not get to Beslan during the crisis. They included Andrey Babitsky, who was indicted on hooliganism after a brawl with two men who picked a fight with him in the Moscow Vnukovo Airport and sentenced to a 15-day arrest. [ [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2004/09/06/012-full.html 2 Reporters Unable to Travel to Beslan] "The Moscow Times", September 6, 2004] [ [http://www.online-translator.com/url/tran_url.asp?lang=en&direction=re&autotranslate=on&transliterate=on&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.svoboda.org%2Fll%2Ffs%2F0904%2Fll.090304-3.asp On the Moscow Vnukovo airport conflict] , Radio Free Europe, September 3, 2004. Machine-translated by www.online-translator.com] The late "Novaya Gazeta" journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who had negotiated during the 2002 Moscow siege, was twice prevented by the authorities from boarding a flight. When she eventually succeeded, she fell into a coma after being poisoned aboard an airplane bound to Rostov-on-Don.cite paper
author = Miklós Haraszti
title = Report on Russian media coverage of the Beslan tragedy: Access to information and journalists' working conditions
version =
publisher = Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
date = 2004-09-16
url = http://www.osce.org/documents/rfm/2004/09/3586_en.pdf
format = PDF
accessdate =
] [ [http://www.kolumbus.fi/suomi-tshetshenia-seura/what.htm On Anna Politkovskaya falling into a coma] , "Novaya Gazeta", September 4, 2004. Anonymous translation]

According to the report by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), several correspondents were detained in Beslan (including Russians Anna Gorbatova and Oksana Semyonova from "Novye Izvestia", Madina Shavlokhova from "Moskovskiy Komsomolets", Elena Milashina from "Novaya Gazeta", and Simon Ostrovskiy from "The Moscow Times"). Several foreign journalists were also briefly detained, including a group of foreign journalists from Polish "Gazeta Wyborcza", French "Libération" and British "The Guardian". The chief of the Moscow bureau of the Arab TV channel Al Jazeera was framed into the possession of a round of ammunition at the airfield in Mineralnye Vody.

Many foreign journalists were exposed to pressure from the security forces and the materials were confiscated from TV crews from ZDF and ARD (Germany), APTN (USA), and "Rustavi-2" (Georgia). The crew of "Rustavi-2" was arrested; the Georgian Minister of Health said that the correspondent Nana Lezhava, who had been kept for fives days in the Russian pre-trial detention centers, had been poisoned with dangerous psychotropic drugs (like Politkovskaya, Lezhava passed out after being given a cup of tea). The crew from another Georgian TV channel "Mze" was expelled from Beslan.

Raf Shakirov, chief editor of the "Izvestia" newspaper, was forced to resign after criticism by the major shareholders of both style and content of the September 4, 2004 issue. [cite web|date=September 4, 2004|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20041014065831/www.izvestia.ru/pdf/04-09-2004/|title=Archive of the paper version of the newspaper (PDF)|work= [http://www.online-translator.com/url/tran_url.asp?lang=en&url=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20041014065831%2Fwww.izvestia.ru%2Fpdf%2F04-09-2004%2F&direction=re&template=General&cp1=NO&cp2=NO&autotranslate=on&transliterate=on&psubmit2.x=32&psubmit2.y=12 Machine translation (PDF papers not translated)] |accessdate=2007-02-14] In contrast to the less emotional coverage by other Russian newspapers, "Izvestia" had featured large pictures of dead or injured hostages. It also expressed doubts about the government's version of events. [cite web|date= September 8 2004|url=http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2004/200409/20040908.html|title=The Current for Show September 8, 2004|publisher=CBC Radio One|accessdate=2007-02-14]

According to a poll by Levada-Center conducted a week after Beslan crisis, 83% of polled Russians believed that the government was hiding at least a part of the truth about the Beslan events from them. [ru icon cite news|date=September 16, 2004 |title=What do you think? Are the authorities truthful about the events of the capture and freeing of the hostages of Beslan? |accessdate=2006-07-29] According to the poll by "Ekho Moskvy" radio station, 92% of the people polled said that Russian TV channels concealed parts of information.

References

External links

* [http://leav-www.army.mil/fmso/documents/chechiw.htm "Manipulating The Mass Consciousness: Russian And Chechen "Information War" Tactics In The 2nd Chechen-Russian Conflict"] by Mr. Timothy L. Thomas, Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS (early 1999-2000 phase of the conflict)
*cite paper
author = Miklós Haraszti
title = Report on Russian media coverage of the Beslan tragedy: Access to information and journalists' working conditions
version =
publisher = Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
date = 2004-09-16
url = http://www.osce.org/documents/rfm/2004/09/3586_en.pdf
format = PDF
accessdate =


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Freedom of the press in the Russian Federation — 2009 RWB press freedom rankings   Free …   Wikipedia

  • Internet censorship — is control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet. The legal issues are similar to offline censorship.One difference is that national borders are more permeable online: residents of a country that bans… …   Wikipedia

  • Moscow theater hostage crisis — Coordinates: 55°43′33″N 37°40′24″E / 55.72583°N 37.67333°E / 55.72583; 37.67333 …   Wikipedia

  • Russia — /rush euh/, n. 1. Also called Russian Empire. Russian, Rossiya. a former empire in E Europe and N and W Asia: overthrown by the Russian Revolution 1917. Cap.: St. Petersburg (1703 1917). 2. See Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 3. See Russian… …   Universalium

  • Second Chechen War — Infobox War caption=Russian artillery shells separatist positions near the village of Duba Yurt, January 2000. conflict=Second Chechen War date= *Active battle phase: August 1999 May 2000 *Insurgency: May 2000 end of 2004 *Localised sporadic… …   Wikipedia

  • Beslan school hostage crisis — ] Several officials also said there appeared to be only 15 to 20 militants in the school. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E02E0DB1231F931A3575AC0A9629C8B63 sec= spon= pagewanted=2 Insurgents seize school in Russia and hold… …   Wikipedia

  • Media and Publishing — ▪ 2007 Introduction The Frankfurt Book Fair enjoyed a record number of exhibitors, and the distribution of free newspapers surged. TV broadcasters experimented with ways of engaging their audience via the Internet; mobile TV grew; magazine… …   Universalium

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • Vladimir Putin — This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Vladimirovich and the family name is Putin. Vladimir Putin Владимир Путин …   Wikipedia

  • 2008 South Ossetia war — Part of Georgian–Ossetian conflict and Georgian–Abkhazian conflict Locat …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.