‘Irina Samokhina speaks of government harassment against the media in Russia’ by Shakia Harris

Irina Samokhina (Russia), CEO of Krestyanin, described state run newspapers as ‘monopolist’ in Russia and discussed tensions between the media and the Russian government during the Press Freedom Roundtable.

In Russia the state has the right to establish its own media. Samokhina said that there are 63 newspapers established by the state in the region of Rostov. She said that the state uses its media ties to further oppress the independent media and take advantage of taxpayers.

“State newspapers use taxpayers money which means that we somehow compete with ourselves,” said Samokhina. “The only way to compete with these newspapers is to use content.”

Working for the independent publication Krestyanin, she said she initially wanted to focus on educating people in rural and country areas and provide information that wasn’t published in the state-run newspapers.

“Our main mission is to educate and protect the people,” said Samokhina. “We were happy initially because this created a healthy competition. Unfortunately our mission has become stronger. Dissertation in Russia is such that media is feeling huge pressure from the state. For many years the state has created a very special policy towards the media.”


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