Russian media experts disputed on Tuesday the accuracy of the 2011 Freedom of the Press report which ranks Russia 173rd out of 196 countries.
Russia jumped two positions in the report by the Washington-based Freedom House think tank, from 175th in 2010, but is still ranked on par with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
“I strongly disagree with those estimates, because, even if we do have negative factors, we are not at the level of Venezuela or certain African states,” said Pavel Gusev, the chairman of the Russian Public Chamber’s committee for media issues.
“Positive trends, media development and the fact that almost every Russian region has its own free media – free both in terms of their financial sources and in terms of expression – were ignored by Freedom House,” said Gusev, who is also the editor-in-chief of the popular Moskovsky Komsomolets daily.
Russia has only a handful of independent newspapers and just one independent TV channel. There have been several murders and beatings of journalists critical of the authorities in recent years.
The Internet has remained mostly free of censorship, turning it into a forum for public discussion and dissent. President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed rumors last week that the government planned to impose Chinese-style restrictions on the Internet.
I can tell you from experience that this is a political tool and is used to wage political war on countries that America deems not agree with their point of view. So Russia just needs to ignore this report and tell America to stick it where the sun does not shine…
I still say that Russia is just as free if not freer than America and these reports are the same every time. But when you control the end results of the reports. The reports become what ever you want them to be and say…
Windows to Russia!