On The Listening Post this week: The Kremlin calls the shots on Russian media, so how do critics get their messages out? Plus, we take a look at Cambodia's pre-election information blackout.

Russia: Pre-election media manipulations

With Russia's presidential election taking place about six weeks from now, the Kremlin is clamping down on critical voices.

As the opposition politician at the heart of this story, Alexei Navalny will tell you, there's nothing subtle about the government's tactics.

Moscow has blocked access to VPNs and steadily tightened the screws on domestic news outlets - ensuring ownership of mass media has shifted almost entirely into the hands of Kremlin allies.

So how do critics get their messages out?

Viktor Olevich, political commentator, Actual Politics
Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief, The Insider
Maxim Kornev, associate professor, Russian State University for the Humanities
Olga Khvostunova, political analyst, Institute of Modern Russia

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Flo Phillips about yet another round of arrests in Turkey and so-called "follower-factories":

  • Turkey has arrested more than 300 people, including journalists, over their criticism of the government's military campaign against Kurdish militia in Syria.
  • An investigation by The New York Times has exposed a world of fake social media accounts and the companies behind them.

Cambodia: Media blackout by design

Cambodia is another country with an election coming up.

The vote is five months away and it was conceivable that the government of Hun Sen, the world's longest-serving prime minister, could have lost its parliamentary majority.

But Cambodians are seeing a concerted campaign to silence opposition figures, and the media outlets carrying their messages.

Huy Vannak, undersecretary of state
Cham Bunthet, political commentator
Vuthy Huot, khmer service deputy director, Radio Free Asia
Astrid Noren-Nilsson, associate senior lecturer, Lund University

Source: Al Jazeera