Why it sucks to be a journalist (and why people do it anyway)

In the West, the news is a commodity, a product. And the customer is always right. If you’re not giving the customer what they want – you’re usually screwed. In places like Russia, the news is more like a government-owned resource. And the government gets to set the agenda on how said resource will be… More Why it sucks to be a journalist (and why people do it anyway)

James Foley’s critics are the real cowards

And when I talk about his critics, I don’t just mean Charles C. Johnson (although, seriously, screw that guy). Since news of Foley’s beheading by ISIS first broke, I’ve seen enough depressing Facebook “debate” that basically argues that gee, isn’t it sad that this journalist was slaughtered – but couldn’t he have been a little… More James Foley’s critics are the real cowards

Goodbye to The Moscow News: on riding off into the sunset yet again

“Again the well-worn saddle creaks, And the wind chills an old wound; Monsieur, where in the name of hell have you wound up? Can it be you can’t afford a bit of calm?” After nearly four years, I am leaving The Moscow News. Now that our owner, the RIA Novosti agency, has been liquidated, the… More Goodbye to The Moscow News: on riding off into the sunset yet again

It gets personal: a dispatch from the Buguruslan Central City Hospital

As a journalist, I frequently write about both problems and breakthroughs in Russian medicine. I write about the need for the humanization of Russian medical culture following decades of Soviet rule in particular. I also write about funding problems. Every once in a while, this topic gets personal – extremely, painfully personal. My mother-in-law, Tatiana… More It gets personal: a dispatch from the Buguruslan Central City Hospital