Spotlight on… the Novaya Gazeta in Russia

The Novaya Gazeta (simply New Gazette) is a Russian newspaper based in Moscow that is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The newspaper was founded in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev, using the funds earnt by his Nobel Peace Prize win. The publication is famed for its investigative journalism into government corruption and Russian society. The Committee to Protect Journalists has referred to the Novaya Gazeta as “the only truly critical newspaper with national influence in Russia today”.

Last November, the newspaper gained worldwide media attention after former Editor-in-Chief Dimitry Muratov claimed he would arm his newsroom due to the country’s inability to protect its journalists. This came in the wake of the stabbing of Tatyana Felgenhauer, a liberal journalist at the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station.

The print media landscape in Russia is less influenced by the state in comparison to the television industry, which gives newspapers the opportunity to criticise government decisions and publish long exposés. This does not mean print journalists are safe, however. Nineteen have been murdered in Russia since 2000, of which four worked for the Novaya Gazeta. Naturally, questions have been raised as to Russian-state involvement in these killings due to the criticism levelled at Putin’s government by the late journalists.

Dimitry Muratov accepted three awards on behalf of the newspaper during his 22-year stint as Editor-in-Chief, including the Four Freedoms Award. Shortly after he claimed he would arm his staff, he decided to step down as editor, with Sergey Kozeurov taking over.

Today the newspaper boasts a popular online platform as well as its print edition. It also offers free supplements around lifestyle and the arts, as a way of expanding its audience further than those interested in hard-hitting journalism.