Russia’s Freedom of speech policies vs the United States

One of the most shocking post in this week’s on the media piece was the section about Russia’s media coverage of the Olympics, which is currently taking place there. I found this section to be especially shocking and eye opening. It is well known that Russia has limited freedom of speech, especially in comparison to the United States. A captivating statement from this section of the podcast was when the speaker compared Russia’s media to speaking after one’s death. She basically said say something positive or don’t say anything at all. I couldn’t help but have a bitter feeling towards Russia after learning about all the horrible things that are currently taking place there and felt hopeless for the people who can’t even voice their opinions about the controversy occurring. Some of the most horrifying revelations in this piece were the fact that people are being thrown out of their home and abandoned in order to make renovations for the Olympic games. The worst part is these innocent people do not even have a voice due to the strict government control of media in Russia. This control is a complete violation of the rights of these people and is denying the public’s right to knowledge of their nation and the recent controversies occurring. This control of the media is a reflection of the hierarchy in Russia and proves that only those with power will have a say in many things such as the media. These revelations put a negative connotation on Russia and the fact that their government sees it more important to host an athletic event and devoted their space, time and money to that rather than to protect their people and their rights. This lack of freedom has gotten so bad that one report even sewed his mouth shut to symbolize the fact that the Russian Government has denied them their rights to report the full truth, so then why should they even report at all. Nations such as the United States are to blame to due to the fact that until I heard this pod cast I had heard none of these tragedies. In my experience in hearing about the Olympics all I have heard is people complaining about hotels and equipment, for these already spoiled athletes rather than focusing on the real issues the games are causing; such as home eviction. In my opinion, people who do have freedom of speech, such as americans should voice the stories and real news for those who can’t. If nations like ourselves showed that we were concerned and bothered by these issues and put pressure of the Russian government then there is a chance we could see change. 

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3 thoughts on “Russia’s Freedom of speech policies vs the United States

  1. You made some really good points such as, after someone dies, if one wants to make a comment, it has to be positive or they are not allowed to say something at all. There was another podcast on On the Media which talked about how Russia is expanding their definition of treason. The definition used to be “assisting a foreign state that jeopardizes Russia’s external security” and now they have expanded it to “any acts against constitutional order, sovereignty and territorial state integrity.” This allows Russia to punish those people (journalists and activists) in the same way that was once used only for people that were spy’s which is a harsh punishment. US punishments aren’t easy either but compared to Russia they are a cake walk.

  2. I agree with where you are coming from in terms of the freedom the people of Russia lack. The Olympics emphasize the poor living conditions in the country; it has been brought to greater attention that the people of Russia are not exactly living freely. It’s as if the Russian government has its citizens confined- no room to say or do anything of expression. I like your comment about countries, including the United States, failing to make an effort to help the people of Russia but I also look forward to the Russians making moves toward better living conditions by making a stand against the government and media, like the reporter who sewed his mouth shut. I think Russia will eventually change for the better.

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