HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » A Russian Journalist Expl...

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 08:38 AM

A Russian Journalist Explains How the Kremlin Instructed Him to Cover the 2016 Election

By Ryan Lizza November 22, 2017

On a recent Saturday in November, Dimitri Skorobutov, a former editor at Russia’s largest state media company, sat in a bar in Maastricht, a college town in the Netherlands, with journalists from around the world and discussed covering Donald Trump. Skorobutov opened a packet of documents and explained that they were planning guides from Russian state media that showed how the Kremlin wanted the 2016 U.S. Presidential election covered.

Among the journalists, Skorobutov’s perspective was unique. Aside from Fox News, no network worked as hard as Rossiya, as Russian state TV is called, to boost Donald Trump and denigrate Hillary Clinton. Skorobutov, who was fired from his job after a dispute with a colleague that ended in a physical altercation, went public with his story of how Russian state media works, in June, talking to the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Radio Liberty. The organizers of the Maastricht conference learned of his story and invited him to speak. He flipped through his pages and pointed to the coverage guide for August 9, 2016, when Clinton stumbled while climbing some steps. The Kremlin wanted to play the story up big.

Skorobutov started working in Russian state media companies when he was seventeen years old, and has worked in print, radio, and TV. During the 2016 campaign, he was an editor for “Vesti,” a daily news program. Skorobutov described it as a mid-level position, with four layers of bureaucrats separating him and the Kremlin. His supervisor was a news director who, he said, got his job after making a laudatory documentary about Putin. Before joining “Vesti,” Skorobutov worked as the press secretary of the Russian Geographical Society, a pet project of Putin, which made headlines last year when Putin declared at a Society event that Russian borders “do not end anywhere.”

In his speech at the journalism conference, Skorobutov explained that as a young journalist he believed that working for the state media was not necessarily corrupting. “When I came to TV, in 2000,” he said, in his prepared remarks, “there was another Russia: with independent media, so-called freedom of speech, with a hope for a better life associated with the new President Vladimir Putin. I was convinced that everything we do on TV is for the better life to come soon. But the life was getting worse and worse.”

In his telling, it was the 2011-2012 protests in Moscow that changed everything. Those protests, which Putin blamed on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spooked the Russian President, according to Skorobutov. “People were imprisoned. Media were taken under control of the State. Censorship introduced,” he said. “It was a point of reflection for me. The state was against its people. Human freedoms, including freedom of speech, were gradually eliminated.” (Others would note that this is a self-serving chronology, as Putin’s dismantling of democracy began long before 2011, and that Skorobutov remained at state TV through the annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine, when Russian media propaganda was especially noxious.)

more
https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/russian-journalist-explains-how-the-kremlin-instructed-him-to-cover-the-2016-election

1 replies, 526 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Russian Journalist Explains How the Kremlin Instructed Him to Cover the 2016 Election (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2017 OP
dalton99a Nov 2017 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 11:52 AM

1. Kick

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread