[This piece is cross-posted at Medium]
Western journalists and media outlets have been outraged for some time now by strong hints of a Russian crack down on freedom of the press. A “wave of consolidation” has enabled Putin to construct a “virtual “ring of steel” surrounding the media”, according to the Economist.
More recently, promoted by RT America’s Liz Wahl’s on-air resignation, Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray revealed claims that Russia Today employees operate in an environment of “frequent censorship” and cited charges made by former employees that management had told them “we work for the Kremlin”.
This widespread attention implies genuine concern for press freedom in Russia, specifically the ability of journalists to ask difficult questions of those in power.
With that in mind, it’s worth looking at the events of the last few days. In particular, Edward Snowden’s appearance on Russian television.