Stifling atmosphere for independent journalists
What with draconian laws and website blocking, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since the big anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with propaganda, the climate has become very oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse, or just try to maintain quality journalism. More journalists are now in prison than at any time since the fall of the Soviet Union and more and more bloggers are being jailed. By trying to block the instant messaging service Telegram, despite the significant collateral damage, the Kremlin has demonstrated its determination to control the Internet, a goal referred to as the “sovereign Internet.” The leading human rights NGOs have been declared “foreign agents.” Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, and Chechnya have meanwhile become “black holes” from which little news and information emerges. Murders and physical attacks against journalists continue to go unpunished.
148 in 2018
49.96 in 2018