The Russian media under Putin and Medvedev: Controlled media in an authoritarian system
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What we see in Russia today is a dual media system, with independent and critical newspapers on one side vs. controlled and censored television channels on the other. The independent media are facing severe difficulties, and the accountability of the elected are nearly non-existing. The weaknesses of the judicial system allowing arbitrary exercising of the legislation against journalists, the increased control of media outlets both regional and federal, among television channels, newspapers and online media, lack of access to information, all are preventing the development of the media as the fourth estate providing a check on those in power. Journalistic practises, the heritage from the Soviet era and not at least the ownership structures are contributing to the development of a media system in favour of authoritarianism. Globalization has only a minor effect on freedom of speech due to increased control of the internet, and the capacities the authorities have shown to use globalization to their own advantage. The Russian media today are far more contributing to uphold an authoritarian regime than contributing to increased democracy.