Is Journalism Worth Dying For?
Translated by Arch Tait
“Anna Politkovskaya defined the human conscience. Her relentless pursuit of the truth in the face of danger and darkness testifies to her distinguished place in journalism—and humanity.” —Christiane Amanpour
From an article found on Anna Politkovskaya’s computer after her death; it is addressed to her readers abroad:
I will not go into all the joys of the path I have chosen: the poisoning, the arrests, the menacing by mail and over the Internet, the telephoned death threats. The main thing is to get on with my job, to describe the life I see, to receive visitors every day in our newspaper’s offices….
What am I guilty of? I have merely reported what I witnessed, nothing but the truth.
Anna Politkovskaya won international fame for her courageous reporting. Is Journalism Worth Dying For? is a long-awaited collection of her final writing.
Beginning with a brief introduction by the author about her pariah status, the book contains essays that characterize the self-effacing Politkovskaya more fully than she allowed in her other books. From deeply personal statements about the nature of journalism, to horrendous reports from Chechnya, to sensitive pieces of memoir, to, finally, the first translation of the series of investigative reports that Politkovskaya was working on at the time of her murder—pieces many believe led to her assassination.
Elsewhere, there are illuminating accounts of encounters with leaders including Lionel Jospin, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and such exiled figures as Boris Berezovsky, Akhmed Zakaev, and Vladimir Bukovsky. Additional sections collect Politkovskaya’s nonpolitical writing, revealing her delightful wit, deep humanity, and willingness to engage with the unfamiliar, as well as her deep regrets about the fate of Russia.