Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

NTV Journalist Forced Out After Censorship Spat

Prominent journalist Pavel Lobkov has been forced out of state-controlled NTV television after he unsuccessfully tried to broadcast footage about vote-rigging in last month's State Duma elections.

NTV confirmed in a statement Tuesday that Lobkov's contract "had expired," meaning that it wouldn't be prolonged and his multiyear career at the channel is over. The statement said the contract expired this month but didn't elaborate on possible reasons for its decision not to renew it.

Lobkov wrote on his Facebook page last week that his work phone number had been blocked. "I've been fired," he wrote.

He said he had planned to push ahead with work on a series about science, but then learned that his contract would not be extended.

Lobkov had spoken about resigning last month after NTV withdrew his investigative report about vote-rigging for no specific reason.

"We had an agreement to prolong the contract to continue other projects. … The decision was changed after my political activities became excessive," Lobkov told Kommersant FM radio on Tuesday.

He added that NTV management didn't like his decision to speak at post-election opposition rallies and give interviews to "adversary channels."

Lobkov, one of the best-known journalists at NTV, started his career at the channel when it was founded in 1993. He has joined and left NTV several times since then, including in 2001 when it was taken over by Gazprom-Media.

His most recent projects at NTV included "Professia – Reportyor" (Profession: Reporter), a series of investigative programs, and "Tsentralnoye Televideniye" (Central Television), a popular current affairs show. He also co-hosted a talk show.

NTV aired a scandalous report about Golos, Russia's only independent elections watchdog, shortly before the Duma elections, criticizing it as a Western-sponsored organization.

"Professiya – Reportyor" complained of censorship last month after a segment covering the opposition protests was banned from broadcast. It later appeared on YouTube.

NTV did cover an opposition rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad on Dec. 10 that drew 30,000 to 80,000 people after news presenter Alexei Pivovarov refused to work without its inclusion.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more