Russia has faced criticism at home and abroad for its remarkably low coronavirus mortality rate. State officials have even threatened to revoke the accreditation of journalists from The New York Times and The Financial Times after those two newspapers published evidence suggesting that the Russian authorities are underreporting fatalities caused by COVID-19. In a new report about coronavirus deaths among medical workers, however, the website Mediazona demonstrates how Russia's low coronavirus mortality rate isn't all rosy if taken at face value: it would mean one in every 15 COVID-19 deaths in Russia is a medical worker, making the disease 16 times deadlier for healthcare providers than in six other countries with similar coronavirus outbreaks.
Host Kevin Rothrock reviews what we know about developments at the newspaper Vedomosti and speaks to Financial Times Moscow correspondent Max Seddon about the newsroom controversy and business journalism in Russia more broadly.
On May 4, 2020, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the latest winners of the most coveted award in journalism. The staff of The New York Times won prizes in three different categories: international reporting, investigative reporting, and commentary. The first honor was awarded for "a set of enthralling stories, reported at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime." The winning work includes six articles and two videos. Not one of the stories is actually set inside Russia: the reports are about wars in Libya and Syria, elections in Madagascar and the Central African Republic, and murders in Bulgaria and Ukraine.
The controversial new acting editor-in-chief of Vedomosti, Andrey Shmarov, has reportedly prohibited staff from publishing public polling results from the "Levada Center" or even mentioning the independent research institute in any content, two sources at the newspaper told Meduza. Shmarov issued the instructions to the newsroom on April 22.