Journalist 103 The Left Reporting Live Zip Codes
A view of Smith Mountain Lake is seen behind Bridgewater Plaza, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Moneta, Va. Two journalists were fatally shot while broadcasting live from the plaza earlier in the day. (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Journalist 103 the left reporting live zip codes
Rodney Booth, of Roanoke, Va., delivers flowers to WDBJ's Digital Broadcast Center, in Roanoke, Va., after hearing news of the fatal shooting of two of the station's journalists earlier in the day, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. "They're kind of like family because I see them every morning," said Booth. (Erica Yoon/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Authorities block Booker T. Washington Highway at Bridgewater Plaza, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Moneta, Va., after two journalists were fatally shot while broadcasting live from the plaza earlier in the day. (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Authorities block Virginia State Route 122 at Bridgewater Plaza, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Moneta, Va., after two journalists were fatally shot while broadcasting live from the plaza earlier in the day. (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Virginia State Police Sgt. R.C. Garletts speaks to the media after two journalists were fatally shot while broadcasting live from Bridgewater Plaza earlier in the day, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Moneta, Va. (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP)
In 2007 Luke Harding arrived in Moscow to take up a new job as a correspondent for the British newspaper, The Guardian. Within months, mysterious agents from Russia's Federal Security Service --the successor to the KGB--had broken into his apartment. He found himself tailed by men in leather jackets, bugged, and even summoned to the KGB's notorious prison, Lefortovo. The break-in was the beginning of an extraordinary psychological war against the journalist and his family. Windows left open in his children's bedroom, secret police agents tailing Harding on the street, and customs agents harassing the family as they left and entered the country became the norm. The campaign of persecution burst into the open in 2011 when the Kremlin expelled Harding from Moscow--the first western reporter to be deported from Russia since the days of the Cold War. Expelled is a brilliant and haunting account of the insidious methods used by a resurgent Kremlin against its so-called "enemies"--human rights workers, western diplomats, journalists and opposition activists. It includes illuminating diplomatic cables which describe Russia as a "virtual mafia state". Harding gives a personal and compelling portrait of Russia that--in its bid to remain a superpower--is descending into a corrupt police state.
The Guardian's former Moscow bureau chief provides a firsthand account of the kleptocratic spy state that is Vladimir Putin's Russia. Prior to his posting in Moscow in 2007, British journalist Harding was stationed in Berlin; in a final, chilling chapter of this delineation of the pernicious post-Soviet security system, he compares what he experienced with the spying and terror routinely practiced by the former East Germany Stasi. Soon after the author arrived in Moscow, the flat where he lived with his wife and children was broken into, the window left open and objects subtlety moved. This sneaky psychological exercise would be repeated over the four years Harding managed to stick it out, especially after he and his newspaper had revealed embarrassing information about the corruption and repression practiced by the Putin regime. The author knew the identities of the "ghosts" who broke into his flat, bugged his phone and routinely followed him, because he was summoned to Lefortovo prison for interrogation by Russia's Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB where Putin cut his teeth. Deemed an enemy of the state, Harding was also in a unique position to observe up close the machinations of Putin's paranoid, anti-Western Russia, run by siloviki, or "power guys" intent on protecting their interests at all costs and repressing any opposition. The author was on the frontlines of coverage of the Georgian insurrection in 2008, the Chechen terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro of 2010 and the rise of anti-ethnic thuggery. He proves a keen, sensitive chronicler of the growing chasm between Russia's haves and have-nots. An astute testimony of a regime grown intractably dastardly.
During the reporting period, a few arrests were reported in relation to online activities, while journalists and citizens were continually harassed for covering protests on social issues. Two new laws were enacted affecting privacy, surveillance, and data collection: the reauthorization of Section 702 of FISA until 2024, and the passage of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, or CLOUD.