Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Antidote against Tyranny? The Case of Russian Independent Media

February 1, 2023, 6:00 pm. Weis Cinema at Bard College, Annandale.

Panel discussion at Bard College with Masha Gessen (Bard/New Yorker), Anna Nemzer (TVRain/RIMA), Archie Magno (Bard). Moderated by Ilia Venyavkin (RIMA)

In his recent Nobel Prize lecture Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov called independent journalism “the antidote against tyranny” and promised that Russian journalists would never give up. Still, if we look at the history of independent media in Russia, we will see that the hope that unbiased media coverage would protect society from relativism, conspiracy theories, propaganda and — at the end of day — from dictatorship, has proven unjustified. Or has it?

 The panel will discuss the history of the past 20 years of Russian independent journalism: How did dictatorship in modern Russia become possible? What did independent media do wrong? Have we learned anything new about freedom of speech that we did not know before? 

At the panel we will also present the Russian Independent Media Archive (RIMA) — a joint digital initiative of Bard College and PEN America to protect the work of Russian journalists from censorship.

The event is sponsored by Center for Civic Engagement, the Gagarin Center at Bard College, and PEN America. 

Antidote against tyranny