The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships condemns Russian authorities’ recent actions against JSK alumnus Roman Badinin, the editor of one of the country’s few investigative news organizations, and members of his team.
Moscow police raided the apartments of Badinin and two staff members of the Proekt (The Project), a nonprofit newsroom he founded two years ago, and interrogated the journalists. During the raids, officers seized phones, laptops and other reporting materials.
The raids and interrogation occurred shortly after Proeket began promoting the impending publication of its investigation into alleged corruption by Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev. As the raids were in progress, the team published the investigation on its website and on YouTube channel.
Badanin is the second JSK Fellow to come under pressure recently by Russian authorities. In April, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents interrogated 2019 JSK Fellow Roman Anin after raiding his Moscow apartment and confiscating cell phones, notebooks, memory sticks and materials from his time at Stanford. Anin is the editor of iStories, an independent online investigative newsroom he founded during his fellowship.
The Proekt and iStories are among a very small number of independent digital news outlets that have opened in Russia over the last few years and the two newsrooms have led the way in investigative reporting about the government.
“We stand in solidarity with our JSK alumni and other courageous investigative journalists who are standing up against these attempts to harass and intimidate them into silence,” said JSK Director Dawn Garcia. JSK joins the Committee to Protect Journalists and other press freedom organizations in speaking out against the Russian government’s actions.