Meduza: The day when RBC is no more

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On May 13 RBC Group fired the senior editorship: the newspaper’s chief editor Maksim Solyus, the chief editor of RBC Roman Badanin, and the chief editor of the united editorship Elizabeth Osetinskaya.

Osetinskaya, Badanin, Solyus, dozens of RBC’s editors and journalists made a miracle in the past two years. It is not possible: to do what is impossible – it just does not happen. In the last two years independent journalism died in Russia; but in the last two years RBC has become the main independent Russian edition: with its first-rate investigations, with an impeccable reputation, with an audience of millions. Without any excuses, without any credits for hard times.

Friday, May 13 is a real bad day for all of us: for journalists and readers. This is the day when the miracle was destroyed before our eyes. There’s no reason that could justify it. There is neither balanced thinking of the owner behind this decision, nor any “public interest”. There is only resentment and vindictiveness: they stared inappropriately, they behaved inappropriately, they wrote inappropriately. You were told not to do so, but you did. What happened to the RBC is not fighting an ideological opponent. No, it’s a street fight. However, the street was the entire Russian journalism.

Was the game worth the candle? Of course it was. People who killed RBC today are totally unaware why RBC even existed in its present form. Really, no kidding, it is impossible to understand the logic of those strange people who are asking for trouble. Although, the logic is not something too complicated: you know, there are professionals in the world, there are people who love their work and are able to do it.

There will be those who say again that it is not the leadership of the country, it is the society itself who calls for censorship, and refuses to journalists – but what should we do with multimillion audience of RBC? Also, there will be those who say again that it is necessary to bargain with authorities for the sake of posts and staff – but do you really think that RBC editorial staff would agree with that?

Thank you, dear Liza, Roman, Maxim and all other RBC staff for your professional work, for the confidence that we are doing the right thing, for not agreeing to make a deal with your conscience. Better times will never come, but we can’t be re-done – so, perhaps, we will continue somehow.

–– Medusa editors