(San Francisco, CA) It is with great sadness that the Emmy-Award winning PBS series Independent Lens reports that acclaimed Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered Saturday in Moscow. Authorities are saying her murder was a direct result of her reporting, which was always fearless and often highly critical of the Putin government. Anna is prominently featured in our upcoming documentary about journalists under siege entitled DEMOCRACY ON DEADLINE: The Global Struggle for an Independent Press, which airs on Independent Lens on Tuesday, November 21, at 10pm (check local listings).
The film explores the dangerous but critically important work of independent journalists, tracing the battles that news reporters face in the United States, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Mexico, Israel and Russia as they seek to fulfill the media's role in guarding against government abuses. In DEMOCRACY ON DEADLINE, Politkovskaya speaks frankly about the dangers she constantly faced (including an attempted poisoning as recently as September 2004).
Says Politkovskaya, “Everyone has a conscience. It is personal, of course. I think that I currently fulfill all the obligations I have to my conscience. Everyone else must do it, too. Pushing aside information about what is happening near you in your time is shameless.” DEMOCRACY ON DEADLINE: The Global Struggle for an Independent Press is produced and directed by Cal Skaggs, whose previous PBS films include With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right and Local News. Says Skaggs, “Anna Politkovskaya was an elegant, soft-spoken woman. But her demeanor masked her fierce will to find and tell the truth. When she saw injustice or corruption, she cried out, ‘This must stop. This must stop.’ It is a genuine tragedy that her work has been so brutally stopped.”
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