Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

DEADLY JOB or “To Be Or Not To Be Political Journalist In Russia?”

Posted by Info on 08/11/2010

Stanislav Minin: Our colleague, Oleg Kashin from the Kommersant newspaper, one of Russia’s best political journalists and writers, has been brutally beaten.
The investigators view his professional activities as a possible motive behind the incident. The friends and witnesses report that the attackers were waiting for Kashin near his home, and took none of the valuables he had on him. This makes us think that the attack was a planned one.

Any attack against a journalist as a professional is akin to terror, to intimidate. A journalist is a public profession with its own principles. When our colleagues are being shot at, when they are threatened, when they are beaten up and taken to emergency care, each of us secretly imagines he’s in their shoes. Each of us, whether he is talented and well-known or not. EACH OF US FACES THE TEMPTATION OF SELF-RESTRICTION, OF KEEPING SILENT ABOUT WHAT HE REALLY SEES, REALLY FEELS, REALLY KNOWS.The war has not been proclaimed, such wars are never proclaimed. But it has been made clear that following your professional principles is often equal to taking personal risks. The taste for political journalism is being eliminated.

Respect for independent journalism in the country is rare, and I don’t mean respect from the authorities: the authorities always view the press as an obstacle. When a murder or an attack against a journalist is proved to have had professional motives. And we know that trying to prevent a particular attack in this case is impossible.


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