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Interview with Russian Journalist in Asylum

tregubova040908.jpgRFE/RL has an interesting interview with Yelena Tregubova, a journalist and author who was forced to flee to asylum in the United Kingdom following death threats in her native Russia for government-critical reporting.

“In fact, the strange thing today is that the Internet is playing the role of publisher of samizdat,” Tregubova says. “I think that the future journalism textbooks will reflect this. Have a look, for example, at the grani.ru website — content-wise it is human rights-oriented per se. In fact, this is just what existed before — underground ‘chronicle of the current events’ or chronicle of what was going on during the pre-reform times in the Soviet Union.” …

“I’m afraid that the Russian media must go through the very same difficult path it went through [at the collapse of the Soviet Union],” Tregubova says. “Just as when Yeltsin’s reforms began, we built journalism with our own hands, we started a new style, we tried to study western journalism — so the next generation will have to do the same thing in 10, 15 years’ time, when the current regime has gone.” …”I just think it’s very sad that the history of reform in Russia, the attempt at liberalization — it’s all over. This great historical opportunity has been lost,” Tregubova says. “Russia has gone back to being a colony for former KGB agents, who’ve changed in name only — a fuel-rich colony for a small group of oil and gas merchants who give nothing of their riches to anyone living outside the capital.”