Women's Work: Human Rights Journalism in Chechnya, A Case Study of Anna Politkovskaya

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Virginia Tech

This thesis aims to evaluate and consider the topic of human rights journalism conducted by women in Chechnya. The primary research question that will be supported by this research, is whether or not Anna Politkovskaya's gender impacted her work, the reception of her work, and her overall experience as a human rights advocate in Chechnya. Anna Politkovskaya is being used as a primary case study due to the volume and breadth of the reports that she produced, and because she was the most well-known reporter in Chechnya during the Second Chechen War, giving her a wider audience. The work of other female journalists will be covered, but those works will serve a secondary purpose of aiding in looking at how Politkovskaya's journalistic legacy impacted other female journalists within Chechnya.

The current state of affairs within the Chechen Republic is one of limited civil liberties and increasing violence on behalf of the authoritarian state government towards advocacy groups and opposition parties. The environment for human rights has not notably improved since the official conclusion of the Second Chechen War, but the level of media attention dedicated to issues there has dramatically decreased. Chechnya is currently lacking a voice of passionate reason, and as a result lacks an effective advocate for civilian interests, which was the role previously filled by Politkovskaya.

political science, Russia, Anna Politkovskaya, human rights, media, journalism, politics, Chechnya, Russia, Gender, feminism, feminist theory