the paid advertisement in Russia

Russia is the biggest country in the world, but it doesn’t have the biggest democracy in the world. When we met with a group  of young leaders from Russia, I wanted to know more about the relations between politicians and the media. Their answers were really surprising.

I have been interested in journalism practice in Russian-speaking countries since a person I know covered the presidential elections in Belarus in 2005. He was sentenced to two weeks of jail because the officials said he did not have the proper visa and they said he was part of an illegal demonstration.

The murder of acclaimed journalist Anna Politkovskaïa back in 2006 revealed that objectivity and honest journalist are still a challenge in this part of the world.

The Russians did not specifically  say journalists get bribed……. but it is common to pay to get better coverage for an important news event or lawmaker’s opinion.

For example, Ilya Lazarenkow, a young deputy of the Smolensk Council, said bribes are a form of advertisement. It is a way in which officials can directly comment on important topics.

Otherwise, the Russians said this scheme doesn’t affect the credibility of the journalists.  Politicians are politicians. Well, well, well.

Submitted by Jean-Virgile Tassé-Themens

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