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Journalism in the Public Interest

The Breakthrough: What American Journalists Can Learn From Reporting Under Putin

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia slowly relinquished state control on the media and allowed a new industry to flourish.

But in recent years, the government has again worked to muzzle the press. Newsrooms have faced intimidation from the Kremlin, and some have been forced to shut down. Elizaveta Osetinskaya was the chief editor of the RBC, a newsroom that emerged at the forefront of Russian independent media while under her leadership. Osetinskaya pushed her reporters to deliver deep investigative dives on government corruption, an editorial path that some Russian journalists described as “suicidal.”

Elizaveta Osetinskaya, chief editor of the RBC, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 18, 2015 (Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Last year, Osetinskaya and two of her colleagues were ousted from the RBC after they published stories on the Panama Papers, tying Putin’s associates to offshore bank accounts.

This week on The Breakthrough, Osetinskaya takes us inside the world of Russian investigative journalism, where reporting on corruption can have serious consequences.

Listen to this podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher.

Enjoy the podcast and want more? Dive deeper into this week’s episode:

Have an idea for The Breakthrough? Send us your suggestions — including which reporters we should ask to talk with us. Hit us up at podcasts@propublica.org.

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