Will Ted Turner Rush in Where Putin Treads Clumsily?

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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 their minds if they ruled in favor of the company. Last week should have seen the coup de grace for NTV. As legislators assembled for the President's annual message to the two houses of parliament, Gazprom, the state-controlled natural resources monopoly and a major NTV shareholder, dismissed the network's top management. Full Story...