Today Digital can take a back seat. I need to write about something else. Today in Russia Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, a retired police officer has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to murder Anna Politkovskaya. Chances are you won’t know who she is or why I care.
I shall tell you. She was a Russian journalist who had the misfortune of being a person with strong moral convictions and democratic beliefs. She did something that most Russians consider extremely stupid and unnecessary-she criticised the Putin administration and the war in Chechnya.
So she was assassinated. Those who cared knew Putin ordered the murder, those who didn’t care said she deserved it for refusing to conform and suck up, like journalists of the state owned media.
Today the media has reported that Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, a police officer who was originally assisting in the investigation of her murder is now a main suspect. Politkovskaya’s family comments that the murder will be solved only when the person who ordered Pavlyuchenkov to organise the crime is named.
I of course looked at both the Russian and Western coverage of the story. Partly because I was skeptical about finding much information in the Russian media. Thankfully I was wrong to doubt Russian coverage and found a few detailed articles about the development of the case. Both Novaya Gazeta and Lenta. Ru covered the story. I liked the fact that Lenta backtracked and explained how Politkovskaya died (gunned down in the lift inside her apartment building), because it provided a more comprehensive picture of the current event.
Politkovskaya worked for Novaya Gazeta which provided no background info as to who Politkovskaya was, indicating that readership would probably be familiar with the story. Novaya Gazeta didn’t insert hyperlinks into the text but Russia is not as tech savy as the West so that really doesn’t surprise me. Lenta on the other hand did provide hyperlinks although the rest of the layout was a bit too ancient in comparison to such online publications as the Economist or Fast Company. At least there were a couple of images to distract from the ugliness of the actual site.
RT also ran an article and reported it on their tv channel (and on youtube). For those of you unfamiliar with RT (Russia Today), RT is a westernised Russian news media, bringing you an image of Russia, with a western spin. I’m pretty sure its propaganda,(very subtle but still) but then again I just don’t trust anything originating in Russia….except Airflot airplanes. Something I haven’t seen on an online media site is the ‘download’ button that allows you to download the video news item. Me like, (but me no bothered to use).
Seriously though: I read Politkovskaya’s books, watched her Dateline interview and I came to believe and will continue to believe that she has more guts/courage/pride than any Russian man I am likely to meet here in Australia or back in Moscow.Anna Politkovskaya knew. She knew what she was doing was dangerous and she knew she would be killed for it.
Could any of us do the same?