Where To Now? The New Challenges to Russian Independent Media
Please join the the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations at the Harriman Institute as Ann Cooper, Professor Emerita at Columbia Journalism School, interviews Roman Badanin, founder and editor-in-chief of recently established investigative media outlet Agentstvo and former editor-in-chief of Proekt, and Galina Arapova, Director and Senior Media Lawyer of the NGO Mass Media Defence Center(Russia) and a practicing media lawyer who has who has defended journalists in Russian domestic courts and at the European Court of Human Rights. Moderated by Elise Giuliano (Harriman Institute).
Independent journalism in Russia currently faces the most difficult circumstances since the advent of free media in the country. As the Kremlin expands its use of coercion under the guise of legalistic categories such as “undesirable organization” and “foreign agent,” journalists and media organizations confront a set of serious challenges. How do journalists continue their professional work and interact with state authorities, while defending freedom of expression and their personal security? More generally, what is the role of the media under current political conditions?
Roman Badanin is the founder and editor-in-chief of the recently established investigative media outlet Agentstvo (agents.media) and former editor-in-chief of investigative outlet Proekt. Both projects focus on data journalism and hard investigations on topics such as the corrupt relations between authorities and oligarchs, or Kremlin’s control over the information space. Prior to Proekt, Badanin worked at Dozhd, RBC, and the Russian edition of Forbes magazine as an editor-in-chief. He has also worked at Gazeta.Ru as deputy editor-in-chief. Badanin has been affiliated with the Gorbachev Foundation and the Russian Academy of Sciences as a researcher.
Ann Cooper is an award-winning journalist, former executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Professor Emerita at Columbia Journalism School. Cooper’s voice was well known to National Public Radio listeners as NPR’s first Moscow bureau chief, covering the tumultuous events of the final five years of Soviet communism. She co-edited a book, Russia at the Barricades, about a failed 1991 coup attempt. As a Spring 2020 fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, she published Conveying Truth: Independent Media in Putin’s Russia, which traces the history of independent Russian media from the glasnost era to the coronavirus pandemic.
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