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Squeezing the Media

echo091508.jpgAn interesting article from the Washington Post illustrates how the Russian state’s grip on the media has tightened considerably since the war.

The Kremlin controls much of the Russian media, and Putin occasionally meets with friendly groups of senior journalists to answer questions and guide news coverage. On Aug. 29, though, for the first time in five years, he also invited the editor in chief of Echo Moskvy, the only national radio station that routinely broadcasts opposition voices. For several minutes, according to people who attended the session or were briefed about it, Putin berated the editor in front of his peers, criticizing Echo’s coverage of the war with Georgia and reading from a dossier of transcripts to point out what he considered errors. “I’m not interested in who said these things,” one participant quoted Putin telling the editor, Alexei Venediktov. “You are responsible for everything that goes on at the radio station. I don’t know who they are, but I know who you are.”