‘The life and safety of a journalist is more valuable than just a hot story’
In the framework of the World Press Freedom Day, Gregory Shvedov came to the MC Theatre in Amsterdam to give a masterclass for young journalists on the topic of Reporting in the heart of a conflict area: Russian Region Caucasus.
Gregory Shvedov is editor in chief of the Caucasian Knot, a 24/7 Internet news agency in Russia which works to “ensure free access to truthful and non-engaged information about events in the Caucasus” as it states on the website. He and his team work around the clock to report on human rights violations in the Caucasus. When asked why his agency does not have a physical location, he replies that it was set up 12 years ago as a “virtual news room”. This was partly done because of doubts for sufficient funding as well as a “clear enough pressure on us”.Regarding the situation of the free press in Russia, Shvedov replies that “enough has been said on the bad role of the state. It exists”. Instead he points to the “huge role of self-censorship of journalists” as well as the social apathy that seems to be prevalent in Russia. People seem to be afraid of making their voices heard. Some of his journalists were killed or seriously threatened. “I always say that life and safety of journalists is more valuable for me than just a hot story”. Is self-censorship then a natural response to state repression? What action can be taken to make journalists feel safer?
Interview met Gregory Shvedov: