Letters: Reporting in Russia

Luke Harding has rightly been praised for his courageous reporting from Russia, but he is wrong to suggest others, including the BBC, do not tell difficult “taboo” stories (Weekend, 24 September).

The BBC has been reporting from Moscow – in English and Russian – for more than 60 years. Over decades, many of my colleagues have been subjected to intimidation. Most have been detained by the authorities for some reason or another during stints in Russia – either in the North Caucasus or elsewhere. One colleague’s home was bugged, while, at the height of Anglo-Russian tensions following the death of Alexander Litvinenko, three members of the BBC Russian team were “attacked” in mysterious circumstances over a period of 10 days. Their experience is hardly the treatment of those who pull their punches or obey “informal rules”.

Luke Harding is a fine reporter, but journalism is not a zero-sum game. He is not alone in showing courage and commitment in reporting from Russia – all deserve our thanks and respect.
Jon Williams
BBC World News Editor

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