City academic authors new book on Russia’s turbulent history with the press
New book from Dr James Rodgers reveals how journalists’ experiences reporting on Russia for the past 100 years mirrors the country’s changing attitude to the West.
Analysing Western journalists’ news coverage of Russia from the siege of the Winter Palace and a plot to kill Stalin, to the Chernobyl explosion and the Salisbury poison scandal, Assignment Moscow Reporting on Russia from Lenin to Putin tells the story of a country known to few outsiders.
Authored by Dr James Rodgers, Reader in International Journalism and published by Bloomsbury, Assignment Moscow reveals not just the changing freedoms offered to press in the country but how these freedoms have ultimately shaped the West’s perception of the biggest country in the world.
The result highlights a country often misunderstood, misremembered and maligned under Vladimir Putin – whose war on journalism is only the latest development in its long and crucial history.
Dr Rodgers first began reporting in Russia as a TV news producer in 1991 – the same year where the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
He was on the ground working for the BBC in May 2000, when Vladimir Putin first emerged as a leader who has remained in power ever since.
Writing for The Conversation, Dr Rodgers said: “My generation of correspondents may have witnessed, and understood, the factors that delivered Putin’s initial popularity: his tough line on fighting separatists in Chechnya and his determination to bring Russia’s new tycoons – the oligarchs – under the Kremlin’s control.
“I see now that I did not realise fully what I was witnessing that day in May 2000. Looking back two decades later, it feels like the start of yet another revolutionary period in Russia’s history.
“What seemed then like a peaceful transition of power was the beginning of a new system – the Putin system – that endures to this day, and may last yet longer: giving Moscow correspondents plenty more to write about.”
About Dr James Rodgers
Dr James Rodgers is the author of four books, including Reporting Conflict (2012), No Road Home: Fighting for land and faith in Gaza (2013), Headlines from the Holy Land: Reporting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2015) and Assignment Moscow Reporting on Russia from Lenin to Putin (2020).
Dr Rodgers is a former correspondent for BBC and Reuters and an expert in conflict reporting.
As a journalist, Dr Rodgers covered two decades after Russia’s turbulent post-Soviet period.
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