Reader Donations Save Russian Magazine

Supporters of one of Russia’s last independent media outlets have raised enough money to pay a court-imposed penalty widely seen as politically motivated. On Tuesday, ICIJ member Yevgenia Albats said she had received more than $373,000 in donations -- well beyond the fine imposed by a Moscow court in October. The court fined Albats and the online magazine The New Times more than $340,000 for allegedly failing to report donations received from readers submitted via the nonprofit Fund in Support of Freedom of the Press. The fine represents one year’s operating costs. Albats, the publication’s editor-in-chief, told ICIJ she believed most donations came from Russian citizens and were exempt from Russia’s so-called “foreign agents” law that would have required the news organization to disclose foreign donations.

Source: ICIJ

Posted on: November 15, 2018

Goat’s Head, Funeral Wreath, Threats for Russia Paper

A funeral wreath, a severed goat's head and threatening notes were sent to Novaya Gazeta’s Moscow office this week in the latest threats against the paper's journalists. The funeral wreath came with a note calling reporter Denis Korotkov "a traitor to his country," while a basket containing a severed goat's head and red carnations included a note that read: "To Novaya Gazeta's chief editor. Greetings to you and Korotkov!" One of the last independent news outlets in Russia, the publication is critical of President Vladimir Putin and his government. The newspaper has said that authorities are conducting a smear campaign against Korotkov, whom authorities claimed has endangered Russian soldiers' families by publishing the personal information of pilots serving in the Russian Air Force in Syria – a story which the paper says it did not publish.

Source: CPJ and Novaya Gazeta

Posted on: October 22, 2018

The Undead Reporter: Now For The Fallout

A Russian journalist who was harshly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin was reported dead. But the next day, Arkady Babchenko stunned a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, where he appeared and said he helped government authorities stage his own death to prevent a contract killing. Even his wife and six children did not know he was taking part in a secret Ukrainian undercover operation to catch the people who threatened his life. A piece on Poynter noted that the fake may make it easier for Russians to deny being involved in other dark acts and give fuel to critics who doubt what they see in the news.

Source: Poynter

Posted on: May 31, 2018

Russian Journalist ‘Falls’ to Death

A prominent regional journalist investigating crime, politics and the war in Syria has died following a fall from a window of his fourth-floor apartment in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city. Maxim Borodin, 32, was found by neighbors on the ground outside his apartment on Friday. He died in hospital two days later, without ever regaining consciousness. Borodin was well-known for delving into Yekaterinburg’s criminal underworld and was among those who broke the story of unreported deaths in the Kremlin’s shadow armies fighting in Syria.

Source: Independent

Posted on: April 17, 2018

Kremlin Assault on Democracy in 21 Nations Detailed

Russia's far-ranging intrusions to undermine democracy in Europe and the United States are detailed in a new report by Democratic Party staffers of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. This disturbingly detailed 206-page report on Russian interference relies heavily on investigative reporting by independent media, including GIJN members OCCRP, Re:Baltica and ProPublica. The report describes Kremlin use of state foundations, NGOs, think tanks, political extremists, the Russian Orthodox Church, the energy industry, organized crime and corruption.

Source: US Senate

Posted on: January 10, 2018

Putin’s New “Foreign Agents” Media Law

Russia's president approved a controversial bill to label internationally funded media outlets as "foreign agents.” Outlets such as US-backed Voice of America and Radio Free Europe are likely to be affected. The law would not apply to Russian media outlets backed by foreign capital. Russian officials repeatedly stated that the measure was a tit-for-tat response after the US made a similar move targeting Russia's foreign broadcaster RT, formerly Russia Today, and the Sputnik news agency.

Source: DW

Posted on: November 29, 2017

OCCRP, 14 GIJN Members Track $21B

How do you track $21 billion in laundered money from Russian banks? The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and Russia's Novaya Gazeta obtained detailed banking records for over 120 suspect accounts, and shared the data with reporters from over 30 outlets (including 14 GIJN members). Dubbed "The Russian Laundromat Exposed," the project details "how more than $20.8 billion was taken out of Russia and laundered, who got the money, and why some of the world’s largest banks failed to shut the scheme down."

Source: OCCRP

Posted on: March 20, 2017

Panama Papers Conspiracy Theories

From a CIA plot to discredit Putin to a corporate media cover-up, the wacky theories behind the Panama Papers are growing. Some are fueled by Russian state-funded propaganda, others by "mostly pseudonymous blogs that will tell you all about the Panama Papers, and toss in some top-notch stuff about 9/11 and Atlantis for good measure," reports VICE's Harry Cheadle. Might it be possible that the project is just what it says: a groundbreaking journalism collaboration that has exposed how the rich and powerful hide their wealth overseas?

Source: VICE

Posted on: April 10, 2016

Cross-Border Reporting Grants for Russian Speakers

Russian speakers from Russia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and Caucasus can apply for grants to collaborate and produce cross-border stories. Journalists will be offered funding, distance mentoring and seminars as part of the program, sponsored by Perspektivy and the Thomson Reuters, Robert Bosch, and Fritt Ord foundations.

Source: Perspektivy

Posted on: October 21, 2015

New CRS Reports

The respected, nonpartisan U.S. Congressional Research Service has released a host of new and updated reports. Among them: Russia sanctions, the health of bees, US-EU ties, and human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Source: Federation of American Scientists

Posted on: February 14, 2015