Fighting cross-border corruption requires cross-border networks

Russian freelance journalist Andrey Kalikh. Member of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF) where he works with cross-border corruption
Russian freelance journalist Andrey Kalikh. Member of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF) where he works with cross-border corruption

Russian journalist Andrey Kalikh wants to fight corruption by helping bloggers and establishing networks. Now he wishes to connect with journalists from the Nordic Countries.

By Joan Rask

“Everybody knows that corruption comes from Russia, but not many people know that there also are politicians and companies from the EU involved. I wish to stop both,” says Andrey Kalikh.

Andrey Kalikh is a freelance journalist who also calls himself an activist. He works with cross-border corruption as part of the NGO organisation EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF), which consists of NGOs from EU and Russia.

Bloggers are working alone. Some are in jail only for reposting an article

         – Andrey Kalikh

“I am looking for Nordic journalists who want to work with cross-border corruption. I hope that they can be an important source of knowledge and that we can work together in revealing and fighting corruption,” he says.

In his opinion, corruption undermines the Russian society – as if the foundation stones are pushed away. That is why he himself is part of the “The Expert Group Fighting Transborder Corruption” at CSF. In this work, the Russian bloggers are essential.

Bloggers are vital
“Bloggers are working alone. Some are in jail only for reposting an article,” Andrey Kalikh says.

I consider them also as part of the media society as well because they write a lot – they provide research as ordinary media do not – then who are the journalists?

        – Andrey Kalikh

He is talking about the bloggers in Russia. He feels that nowadays they are nearly the only ones who tell the real story about life in Russia.

“I consider them also as part of the media society as well because they write a lot – they provide research as ordinary media do not – then who are the journalists?” Andrey Kalikh asks.

Jailed for blogging
When ordinary people write blogs, the problem is the same in Russia as all over the world – the bloggers are not protected by journalism ethics and standards.

“Bloggers are a very vulnerable group. There are hundreds of cases in Russia where bloggers are sentenced for “thinking differently” – some end up in jail, some get fines and some are sentenced to community service. A part of them could have been avoided if the bloggers were protected as journalists,” says Andrey Kalikh.

Transparency
Andrey explains that the reason why these bloggers are so important is, that corruption is a huge problem in Russia and ordinary newspapers and TV don’t tell much about it. Only the bloggers dare write about it.

But what can Andrey Kalikh actually do?

“I can bring the bloggers together and give them information about how to protect their work, them self and connect them with sources outside Russia as journalists and investigators in the Nordic countries,” he says.

 

Interested in coorporation?

Interested in Russian/Nordic cross-border research? Send an email to kontakt@njc.dk
Please be in contact – we need contact with both Russian speaking Nordic journalists and Nordic journalists who work with Russian issues (where some might not be Russian speaking).

 

Facts

About the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum (CSF) and their expert group Fighting Transborder Corruption

From: www.eu-russia-csf.org:

The expert group was founded in 2014 by civil society activists and experts from Russia and Europe.

The group is aimed at contributing to international fight against corruption.
Its members investigate large international projects (e.g. infrastructure construction or resource extraction) carried out in Russia or the EU by private or state owned corporations.

Such projects are often closed for civil oversight, characterised by indications of corruption and lack of transparency, and accompanied by violation of environmental, socio-economic and human rights.

Nordic Journalist Centre and Northwest Russia 
Nordic Journalist Centre (NJC) focuses on the dissemination of Russian news. It is actualised via a DKK 4.8 million (2016-2017) grant by The Nordic Council of Ministers. NJC cooperates with the Saint Petersburg based Regional Press Institute.

NJC met Andrey Kalikh in Helsinki. He and 14 other journalists from the Russian news industry took part in the conference, World Press Freedom Day, in spring 2016.

Their participation was made possible by the support provided by NJC via its special programme aimed at Northwest Russia. NJC cooperates with the independent Regional Press Institute in Sankt Peterburg

More: About Nordic Journalist Center