20 years after Georgiy Gongadze’s murder, the space for free and independent media across the continent continues to dwindle.
Georgiy Gongadze was a prominent Ukrainian journalist who was instrumental in reporting corruption allegations within the government of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. On September 16, 2000, Gongadze disappeared after failing to return home from work. Two months later, his body was discovered in a nearby field with strong evidence of foul play. After a 5-year investigation, it was determined that Gongadze was kidnapped and murdered by members of the police force, allegedly under the direction of Kuchma—an accusation he denies. The Public Interest Journalism Lab recently released a documentary that examines Gongadze’s case and highlights the prominent effect it has had on free and independent media throughout Europe.
20 years after Gongadze’s murder, the space for free and independent media across the continent continues to dwindle. To this day, reporters and journalists are often faced with violence and at times even threatened with their lives in the line of duty. How can democratic societies respond not only to attacks on journalists but also against the public good free and independent media provide?