Trial and Tribulation at NTV

The bad news about Vladimir Putin's first year in power is that he has shown a consistent desire to curb independent media. The more reassuring news is that he is making a hash of it — so far, at least. Over the past year the full force of the Russian state has been concentrated on Media-Most, the owner of NTV, the one independent TV station with a near-nationwide reach. It has been raided dozens of times, founder Vladimir Gusinsky is in Spain fighting extradition and other executives have fled the country. Judges have consistently ruled against NTV — or quickly changed...