Today, the seventh anniversary of independent journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s murder, the Sochi Winter Olympics torch began its journey across Russia, the longest of any host country in Olympic history. Reporters Without Borders has chosen this day to release a report about freedom of information in the region hosting these games.
The result of a visit to Sochi in mid-September, this report examines the methods of dependency and intimidation that induce most of the local media to censor themselves. It documents specific freedom of information violations, including journalist Nikolai Yarst’s detention. It also looks at the conditions in which the media will be operating during the games.
This report, like the international communication campaign being launched today, is also intended to pay tribute to all those who help to maintain a degree of diversity and independence in the news and information available in this unwholesome environment.
Economically precarious and subject to every kind of pressure, independent journalism is a combat and endurance sport. Those who practice it do so out of a strong personal sense of civic responsibility. They deserve our attention and support.
For more information, contact Johann Bihr, head of RWB Eastern Europe & Central Asia desk: +33 1 83 84 67, [email protected].