Pravda On The Potomac-26 (What The Washington Post Wrote About Russia In April 2011)

The Washington Post's Russia reporting in April reminded the one in March: in the absence of attention-grabbing "disasters," the Post's contributors were left to their own tastes, resulting in a diverse, if somewhat eclectic, coverage.

The freelance writer Kriston Capps contributed a lengthy — and generally positive — article about the notorious art group Voina, whose scandalous "performances" include the famous public orgy at a Moscow museum in 2008.  

Will Englund spent a good deal of April on the road.  He first traveled to Chernobyl, Ukraine, to visit the site of the world's worst nuclear accident.  He then moved to Minsk where he filed a report describing the dire state of the Belarusian economy.  He also wrote about the explosion in Minsk subway that killed more than a dozen of people.  Englund returned to the Chernobyl theme on Apr. 24 to claim that the nuclear catastrophe was "a milestone on the road to Ukrainian independence."  (I'll remember Englund's last piece every time I hear the term "creative history.") 

While in Moscow, Englund covered a wide range of topics.  On Apr. 8, he wrote about a suggestion made by an FSB official to ban Skype, Gmail and Hotmail operations in Russia.  (This came on the heels of Joby Warrick's piece on the State Department annual report on human rights that pointed — surprise! – to Russia's "worsening human rights record.")  Englund was quick to add than an adviser to President Medvedev criticized the proposal, yet he hinted that the proposal was supported by Prime Minister Putin.  Needless to say, when Putin explicitly ruled out any Internet restrictions in his annual address to the Duma, Englund didn't find this news newsworthy enough. 

On Apr. 11, Englund commemorated the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first human space flight, and on Apr. 18, he wrote about a new twist in the endless story about the death of Sergei Magnitsky.  (At this point, the editorial board intervened with an amazing, completely uncharacteristic for the Post, admission that "the Magnitsky case is an example of mid-level Russian corruption" and that "Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his circle" aren't directly involved.  Wow!  What happened to these guys?)  Englund's Apr. 20 piece was devoted to an uproar caused by a public speech given by one of Russia's most prominent doctors, Leonid Roshal.

Kathy Lally had her share of "foreign" travel.  Her Apr. 13 report from Astana, Kazakhstan, discussed the remarkable political longevity of "an imperfect democrat", the Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev.  Lally's only other piece briefly mentioned a visit to Moscow — to meet with Russian human rights activists – by two members of the European Parliament, Kristiina Ojuland and Heidi Hautala

And that was it for April. 

Ah, yes, Ellen Barry and Clifford Levy of the New York Times have recently received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for their Russia reporting.  Congratulations to Ellen and Clifford! 

About Eugene Ivanov

Eugene Ivanov is a PMI-certified Innovation Management Consultant who helps organizations increase the efficiency of their internal and external innovation programs.
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3 Responses to Pravda On The Potomac-26 (What The Washington Post Wrote About Russia In April 2011)

  1. Hi Eugene,
    The NYT and the Pulitzer have a past:
    The NYT and the Pulitzer
    Revoke Miller’s Pulitzer
    Effective ethnic lobbying can and does make a difference.
    Roy Gutman has a Pulitzer unlike Peter Brock. I believe the latter to be more deserving of consideration as a competent independent and earnest investigative journalist.
    A former NYT reporter David Binder appears to agree. No surprise that Binder doesn’t have any Pulitzer awards.

  2. Eugene says:

    Thanks Mike,
    Well, honestly, my last line about NYT Pulitzer was intended as a punt. The fact is that Barry and Levy — whatever they may think about Russia and its leaders — are good journalists. And the WP guys are not. It’s this simple.

  3. Very respectfully Eugene, I bring up a relative point on what’s used to gauge good and not so good journalism.
    By oD standards, someone brought to my attention that this isn’t a bad article:

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