Staunton, Jan. 17 – Media outlets in Russia’s far-flung regions have been subjected to even more pressure than have those in the capitals. Fines that outlets in Moscow might be able to cope with can put them out of business, and actions against regional journalists seldom garner the support that actions against ones in the center do.
But regional journalists continue to do what they can to report the news, taking pay cuts, moving abroad or distributing their work exclusively via the Internet confident that what they are doing is important now and will be even more important in a post-Putin future (themoscowtimes.com/2023/01/17/russias-local-journalists-struggle-to-keep-news-flowing-from-home-and-abroad-a79839).
Indeed, Viktor Muchnik, who headed Tomsk’s TV2 until it was shut down and now works abroad on the media project “This isn’t Moscow Speaking” (t.me/Govorit_NeMoskva), says that journalism in the regions “will be instrumental for the process of ‘reassembling’ a new democratic Russia” after Putin leaves the scene.
Thirty-six of the regional media outlets have come together to form the Alliance of Independent Regional Publishers (AIRP) (anri.org.ru/). Some of those who created it have been forced to close; others have been forced to move abroad; but all remain convinced that accurate news about what is happening outside of Moscow is essential to the country’s future.