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Ear to the Ground

Courage in Journalism

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Posted on Oct 8, 2006
Anna Politkovskaya
novayagazeta.ru

Anna Politkovskaya, a veteran Russian journalist and outspoken critic of the Putin administration, was found dead in her apartment building on Saturday, the victim of an apparent contract killing.  Mikhail Gorbachev described the murder as “a blow to the entire democratic, independent press…. It is a grave crime against the country, against all of us.”

Note: the headline for this item comes from an award which Ms. Politkovskaya received in 2002 from the International Women’s Media Foundation.  The Courage in Journalism award honors “women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances.”


New York Times:

Ms. Politkovskaya, 48, was a journalist with few equals in Russia. She was a special correspondent for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and had become one of the country’s most prominent human rights advocates.

In recent years, as the Russian news media faced intensifying pressure under the administration of President Vladimir V. Putin, she maintained her outspoken stance. And she became an international figure who often spoke abroad about a war she called “state versus group terrorism.”

She was a strident critic of Mr. Putin, whom she accused of stifling civil society and allowing a climate of official corruption and brutality.

She was found dead by a neighbor shortly after 5 p.m. A Makarov 9-millimeter pistol had been dropped at her side, the signature of a contract killing, Vitaly Yaroshevsky, the deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta, said in a telephone interview.

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By el cuervo, October 9, 2006 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anna Politkovskaya was the kind of journalist the world can’t afford to lose. What stands between the little people and the fat giants who abuse their power over others? Our defense is not with guns and tanks but with the truthseekers. With Politkovskaya’s murder that already too frail piece of armour just got a little thinner.
She chose the precarious life of a peaceful warrior. Where are the monuments and the commemorative days for people like her? Vale, Anna.

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By Mad as Hell, October 9, 2006 at 9:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wake up, America!

This is our certain future if we don’t elect the Democrats on November 7!

Bush has been tailing Putin down the road to fascism every step of the way.  Putin has just been ahead of him.

It used to be that attacking a journalist was a dangerous as attacking a cop.  Kill a reporter and the Press would be like a nest of angry yellow jackets until the killer was caught.

Now?  Fox/Pravda and CNN’s and MSNBC’s spineless management will have their parrots say “Well, he/she shouldn’t have been so nasty about President Bush.”

“We condemn this killing, but….”

Words of cowardice and hypocracy.  Our future if we don’t take it back.

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By al peck, October 8, 2006 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, how long before Bushie gets the idea? He is an admirer of Putin, after all, and it isn’t for Putin’s love of democracy.

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By rachelle, October 8, 2006 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In French, Putin sounds exactly like its dissimilar ‘putain’.
which means a ‘whore’. Yes indeed, it seems. Putin is a
whore of the KGB.

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By R. A. Earl, October 8, 2006 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shooting the messenger sends a very clear message, doesn’t it!

If I were Bob Woodward, I’d be living under an assumed identity in a land far, far away. Hell, if I were him, I’d find bin Laden and hook up with his organization. Seems to be about the safest place on the planet.

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By kevin99999, October 8, 2006 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The international community should insist on complete and thorough investigation. If the Russian government is found to be complicit in her murder, there should be massive demonstration against the government, demanding Putin’s resignation, and no civilized should have diplomatic relations with Russia.

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