The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

What it’s like to be on Russia’s journalist hit list


By Masha Gessen
The author is a guest contributor to The views expressed are her own and not those of Thomson Reuters.

"Are you scared?" someone asked me during a talk in New York last Friday night.

I always get that question. I am a journalist working in Russia, where 19 murders of journalists remain unsolved. Russia ranks eighth in the Impunity Index compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists -- the only European country on the list, it is wedged between Nepal and Mexico.

People may be forgiven that being scared is an occupational hazard for me.

So I gave my stock answer: "No, I am not scared," I said. "I have been at times, but right now I don't seem to be doing anything particularly dangerous." This is true.

Recently I have grown so cavalier as to stop asking my partner to meet me outside when I get home after dark -- a precaution I started taking after I was last threatened a couple of years ago.