Stifling atmosphere for independent journalists
Between draconian laws and website blocking, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin in 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with state-run propaganda, the climate has become increasingly oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse or just try to maintain quality journalism. At least five journalists are currently detained in connection with their reporting—an unprecedented number—and more and more bloggers are being jailed. The leading human rights NGOs have been declared “foreign agents.” Murders and physical attacks against journalists continue to go unpunished. Chechnya and Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, have meanwhile become “black holes” from which little news and information emerges.
148 in 2018
49.96 in 2018