Courage in Journalism
Posted on Oct 8, 2006
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.