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Listening Post

Russia's new media mavericks

The story of two Russian bloggers working to expose corruption and challenging the established order.

Last Modified: 17 Aug 2013 14:49
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This week we are running a film that first aired on Al Jazeera English six months ago, on another one of Al Jazeera English programmes, Witness.

It is the story of two Russian bloggers, Sergei Mukhamedov and Irina Gundareva, who use their blogs to expose corruption and challenge the established order in the different areas in which they live.

Mukhamedov is based in Moscow and says he set up his LiveJournal blog to skirt the restrictions on freedom of expression put in place by President Vladimir Putin.

Usually one step ahead on a story than mainstream journalists, his blog has been credited with raising issues that matter to ordinary Russian citizens.

Irina Gundareva is an investigative journalist based in Siberia and when editors at her newspaper refuse to run her pieces on corruption and injustice, she takes to her blog to get her story out there.

Putin’s Russia is not an easy place for online critics of the government – just last month anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny was sentenced to five years in jail on charges of embezzlement.

The Kremlin's critics called the case politically motivated and Navalny has since been released, but the message from authorities was clear – we have our eye on you.

But that does not seem to deter bloggers like Mukhamedov and Gundareva, whose resilience and determination routinely hold power to account.

Both their stories weave together to show us the energy, commitment and passion of the country's new online wavemakers, determined to get their stories told.

The film, Russia’s Online Wavemakers, was produced by Richard Setbon and Evgeny Rudnii. 

 
Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

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