Russian newspaper staff rebel against censorship imposed by new editor

Journalists at the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti have rebelled against their new management after the paper’s editor, the recently installed Andrey Shmarov, was accused of banning criticism of constitutional amendments backed by Vladimir Putin and the use of data from an independent pollster.

An editorial, titled “The New Vedomosti”, was published without the editor’s consent, confirmed by a staff member who added that it wasn’t expected to stay online for long. However, at the time of writing the article remains in place after more than 24 hours.

Staff complain that articles critical of Putin and his inner circle are edited or removed, citing an article concerning the Russian state energy company Rosneft and blocking a recent column critical of the same company and its boss, Igor Sechin.

Having been deprived of its reputation, Vedomosti will become just another dependent and controlled media outlet whose task won’t be fulfilling the needs of its readers with verified news and high-quality analysis, but fulfilling the interests and ambitions of its official and unnamed owners

Vedomosti staff statement

Vedomosti was founded in 1999 as a joint-venture that included the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. It changed hands several times following new legislation imposed in 2014 in order to foreign control of media.

It was recently sold again, this time to the owner of an investment firm and editor-in-chief of Argumenty i Fakty, a weekly government owned newspaper.

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