May 01, 2020

Drama at Vedomosti


Drama at Vedomosti
Vedomosti is seeing some changes. Image by Roman Kraft via Wikimedia Commons

While the rest of the world has been worried about the coronavirus pandemic, some changes have occurred at Vedomosti, one of Russia’s leading newspapers, that have raised concerns about press freedom. An agreement was reached in March to sell the newspaper to publisher Konstantin Zyatkov and businessman Alexei Golubovich, which lead to the hiring of a new editor-in-chief, Andrei Shmarov.

As one of his first acts, the new editor-in-chief banned journalists from publishing articles that criticize President Putin, and specifically, that deal with his proposed constitutional changes that could allow him to remain as president until 2036. In addition, Shmarov banned the use of information from the Levada Center, one of Russia’s last remaining independent polling agencies, allegedly at the behest of the Kremlin. The changes are becoming so drastic, that Reporters without Borders has warned of undermining trust in the publication.

Journalists at Vedomosti responded with an editorial that listed all of Shmarov’s “crimes” against the newspaper and called for a return to normalcy. Other employees are reaching out to other media sources to spread their story.

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