Reporters on the Job
• What Financial Crisis? Writing about the global economic meltdown from Russia is a bit like reporting from a bubble, says correspondent Fred Weir (see story). Most recently, Moscow is confronting how to deal with falling oil prices, but that doesn't mean it's an issue that bothers most Russians.
"The Russian media has broadcast a lot about the crisis in the West, and not a lot about Russia's own troubles. The state media has been very ginger about how the crisis is creeping up on Russia," says Fred.
But even if the Russian media was free to report on the country's impending economic troubles, Fred says that he doubts they would increase their coverage.
"It doesn't have that immediate relevance to the average Russian," he says. "It has hit the rich, but there are very few Russians with money tied up in the stock market."
"Still, in my circle of friends, they're all a bit disquieted. Suddenly the bottom seems to be falling out, and nobody seems to know quite how it's going to affect them," says Fred.
"I recently started a blog of my own," says Yigal, who explains that he used it as a bulletin board to share his articles and personal photos with his family and in-laws. "Then the other day I was trying to access my own blog and I couldn't. Suddenly finding that you can't access something personal was kind of shocking."
As an avid Internet news reader, he also says the YouTube ban has made it more difficult to follow the US elections. "A lot of other websites will link to election clips on YouTube, and now there's just an empty box where the clip should be," says Yigal. "It's almost like waking up and finding out there's no television."
– Tom A. Peter