Russia: Vladimir Putin’s damning record on press freedom

first_img News News News RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentImpunityPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of EuropeInternet RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentImpunityPredatorsImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of EuropeInternet Credit: Alexey Nikolsky / AFP Follow the news on Russia Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown News to go further Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing Receive email alertscenter_img Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption On the eve of the 18 March presidential election in Russia, in which Vladimir Putin is running for another term, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has written an open letter to him summarizing the disastrous effects of his 18 years in power on the freedom to inform and urging him to lift all the curbs he has placed on this freedom. Read in English / Читать на русскомDear President Putin,You started gagging your media critics when you were first elected president 18 years ago but your efforts have intensified considerably during your latest term. Your country is now ranked 148th out of 180 countries in our World Press Freedom Index and the situation has not been as bad as it is now since the Soviet Union’s fall.You have had a tight hold on national TV broadcasting since 2001, when the ORT and NTV channels were brought under control. The television channels with the most viewers are now majority-owned by the state or by the state-owned company Gazprom. As harassment of media critics is stepped up, these channels pump out propaganda that fuels a climate of hate and paranoia towards civil society and drags down journalistic standards.Independent media outlets are confined to an ever-smaller niche and the pressure on them is stepped up whenever they manage to acquire a significant number of readers or viewers. The only independent national TV broadcaster, Dozhd TV, was dropped by the satellite and cable services in 2014. The editor of Russia’s most widely-read news website,, was fired the same year, along with most of her staff. The editorial staff of the RBC media group suffered the same fate in 2016. All of these media outlets distinguished themselves by their coverage of the most sensitive stories, from the Ukrainian conflict to high-level corruption. The purge has not spared leading regional outlets such as the Siberian TV broadcaster TV2.The Internet continued until recently to be space for freedom of expression but it too has been reined in over the past few years. The criteria used as grounds for blocking access to a website without reference to the courts have grown steadily since the first blacklist was drawn up in 2012. The opposition information websites,, and more recently OpenRussia have been among the victims. What with monitoring bloggers, censoring search engines and news aggregators, regulating VPNs and forcing social networks and messaging services to cooperate with the FSB, legislation has become steadily more draconian. More and more Internet users are being jailed for the comments they post on social networks and even for their “likes.”Laws promulgated by you since 2012 have curtailed media freedom in general, not just on the Internet. They have re-penalized defamation, penalized “offending the feelings of religious believers,” penalized “inciting separatism,” expanded the definition of “high treason” and toughened “anti-extremism” legislation, which has long been used against critics. The broad and vague wording of these laws allows them to be used selectively and arbitrarily.Other reforms such as the drastic restriction on foreign investment in the media have accentuated the vulnerability of independent media outlets. The criminalization of civil society has not spared NGOs that support the media and defend press freedom, and now even threatens foreign media.Misuse of legislation to persecute critics has helped to fill prisons. We calculate that at least five journalists (Alexander Sokolov, Igor Rudnikov, Zhalaudi Geriyev, Alexei Nazimov and Alexander Tolmachev) and two bloggers (Alexander Valov and Alexei Kungurov) are currently detained in connection with their reporting. The total is greater than it has been at any time since 2000.The impunity enjoyed by those who physically attack and murder journalist is unchanging. At least 34 media professionals have been killed in connection with their work in Russia since 2000. In the overwhelming majority of these cases, the investigations have gone nowhere and the masterminds have not been identified. With five journalists killed, the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta has paid a particularly high price and continues to receive threats.You have allowed no-go zones to develop in which no pluralism survives. Chechnya and Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, are the leading “news black holes.” The effects of this situation are not just local. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov no longer hesitates to target media beyond his borders. Do you plan to turn these regional dictatorships into the laboratories of tomorrow’s Russia? Are they the model you offer for your fourth term?To avoid going down in history as gravedigger of the freedoms guaranteed in Russia’s young constitution, you must change course. We ask you to ensure the repeal of all the draconian laws adopted during your latest term, to release the national TV channels from state control, to allow independent media outlets to operate without being harassed, and to end the climate of hatred and impunity to which government critics are exposed. And we ask you to promote judicial independence so that the courts stop acting arbitrarily and instead free all the journalists and bloggers who have been wrongfully imprisoned.We thank you in advance for the attention you give to this letter.Sincerely,Christophe DeloireRSF secretary-general June 2, 2021 Find out more May 21, 2021 Find out more Organisation Help by sharing this information RSF_en RSF_EECA March 16, 2018 – Updated on March 19, 2018 Russia: Vladimir Putin’s damning record on press freedom May 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Examining Black Homeownership Trends

first_img About Author: Radhika Ojha  Print This Post Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Black Americans own a much smaller number of homes compared to other demographics across the nation’s 50 largest metros, according to a new study by LendingTree.The study, which focused on homeownership trends among African Americans revealed that while Americans who identified as Black made up around 15% of the population in each of the metropolitan areas, only 10% of owner-occupied homes were owned by them.LendingTree also found that across the metropolitan areas covered in the study, the average median household income for this demographic was $41,571, over $30,000 below the average household income recorded for white Americans in these cities. This was especially important, the study said, “because lenders evaluate a potential borrower’s income, and this can pose challenges when it comes time to qualify for a mortgage.”Looking at the cities with the lowest percentage of Black American homeownership, the study said that Memphis, Tennessee’s Black population was 46.5%. Comparatively, the percentage of black-owner occupied homes was 34.7%. With a median difference of 11.7% between the population and overall owner-occupied homes, Memphis has the lowest percentage of homes owned by black Americans relative to their total population.New Orleans with a difference of -24.8%; Milwaukee (-9.2%); Baltimore (-9.1%); and Virginia Beach, Virginia (-8.5%) rounded off the five cities that had the lowest homeownership rates among Black Americans relative to their total population.On the other hand, while Black Americans account for only 2.3% of San Jose, California’s population, the study found that the percentage of homes owned by them was the largest relative to their overall population across the 50 metros in the study. However, LendingTree pointed out, “The percentage of homes owned by black homeowners is nearly 1.5%, which is still a disproportionately small percentage.”Concluding from the study, LendingTree said that while the homeownership rates among this population remained low there were several ways to increase it, “one of them is by raising awareness about the available homebuying programs on both a national and local level.” Subscribe in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Related Articles Examining Black Homeownership Trendscenter_img Previous: The QM Patch’s Impact on Affordable Housing Next: Combating Zombie Properties With Registries Home / Daily Dose / Examining Black Homeownership Trends Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago African Americans Black Americans Homeownership LendingTree loans mortgage 2019-06-04 Radhika Ojha Sign up for DS News Daily Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago June 4, 2019 1,379 Views Tagged with: African Americans Black Americans Homeownership LendingTree loans mortgagelast_img read more