The Russian Media in the 1990s
Although Russian media acquired unprecedented editorial independence during the early 1990s, problems making ends meet forced many media outlets into arrangements that eroded their freedom by the end of the decade. The 1996 presidential campaign gave both politicians and business groups strong incentives to acquire financial control over media outlets. The media's growing reliance on wealthy individuals, business groups and political patrons facilitated attempts by owners and sponsors to use media resources as political weapons. As the end of Boris Yeltsin's presidency loomed, state officials embarked on a wide-ranging strategy to make better use of state media resources and to constrain editorial independence in private media. The dependence of many media outlets on corporate groups helped those state policies succeed.
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