Respect For The Rights Of Journalists: FAKE NEWS From Western “Researchers” Against The Truth

According to the data from the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, events of death threats to mass media employees in Russia have declined in the last 10 years. While 19journalists were murdered in Russia from 2000 to 2009, there were 6 murders from 2010 to2018, i.e. there is a three-fold decline of such events in Russia.

This data should be compared to statistics for the number of developed countries (also provided by the CPJ).

Two journalists were murdered in Russia from 2014 to 2019. In the same time frame, 12mass media employees were murdered in Brazil, 8 in France, 4 in the U.S. (5 according to theU.S. Press Freedom Tracker). Given the different sizes of the two populations, the probability of a journalist being murdered in Russia has been the same as it is in the U.S. for the last five years. There is 1 murder of a journalist per 73,000,000 population in Russia and 1 per 81,000,000population in the U.S. These numbers are much lower than it is in France (1 murder per8,000,000 population). French journalists are being murdered at a higher rate than even Brazilian ones (1 murder per 18,000,000 population). Nevertheless, France is considered a safer country for mass media employees than Russia.

These statistics would surely surprise someone who follows recent news. On November 2, 2019 the CPJ has published the “Global Accountability Rating” which listed countries where a murder of a journalist is more likely to go unsolved. Russia is ranked 11th on this list (drafters have listed 6 unsolved murders).

Not many people have noticed that statistics for this rating are based upon the data from2010 to 2018 ignoring the drastic decline in murders of journalists in Russia in the last ten years. Another rating which is based upon the CPJ data from 2018 is giving much more accurate figures. There were no journalists murdered in Russia in 2018 so the country is absent from the list. Most of the unsolved murders of journalists have happened in Afghanistan (10 cases), in the U.S(5 cases), and in Mexico and India (4 cases).

It should be noted that all those ratings are based on the data provided by the CPJ, therefore they should not be taken for granted.

Russian authorities actively encourage journalists who give publicity to human rights and social issues, regardless of their political beliefs. In 2018, chief director of “Arzamas” projectFillipp Dziadko, and “Novaya Gazeta” journalists Galina Mursalieva and Olga Bobrova were awarded with mass media prizes from the Russian government.

As the human rights situation improves in Russia, it keeps deteriorating in North America and Western Europe, especially in the United States.

According to U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, 117 episodes of violation of the rights of journalists have been recorded in the US in 2019.

According to the data provided by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the number of criminal cases brought against journalists for their refusal to disclose government information sources has increased drastically in recent years. In 1959-2009 US authorities tried to hold 4journalists accountable. However, in 2010-2019 they have already initiated 15 lawsuits.

According to U.S. Press Freedom Tracker data, 43 journalists were detained in 2017-2018(more than 30 of those were detained for their coverage of protests). In 2019 alone, 31 American journalists have been physically abused.

On May 30, 2018, independent journalist Zack Stoner was killed in Chicago, allegedly for his professional activities.

On June 28, 2018, 4 Capital Gazette journalists were killed in Annapolis, Maryland. Threats from the attacker to the staff were being reported for going back 7 years. Back in 2013, the police had been notified of systematic threats against the journalists, but they did not take any measures. Law enforcement officials also ignored the information on the upcoming massacre the criminal left on his Twitter account on the eve of the attack.

Attacks on journalists by politicians and officials have also been reported.

In May 2017, Republican millionaire Greg Gianforte, who was claiming a seat in the Montana State Congress, physically assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. As a result, the politician was sentenced to community service, a $385 fine and 20 hours of anger management classes. In September 2019, North Carolina state senator Paul Lowe attacked NC Policy Watch reporter Joe Killian and knocked the phone out of his hands while he was recording a video.

There have also been cases of journalists being abused by government officials. In October 2019, Ben Watson, news editor for Defense One, succeeded to pass customs control at the Dulles International Airport in Washington DC only after he affirmatively answered the official’s provocative question: “You are engaged in propaganda, right?”.

This raises a weird question: isn’t that what the US authorities want from their journalists?

Alexander Malkevich, head of the Foundation for National Values Protection (Russia).
Chairman of the Commission on Development of Information Community, Mass Media and
Mass Communications of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation