New York Times Hiring Moscow Correspondent [Job description]

“Nobody reading this could have any doubt about what the editors of the New York Times expect of candidates for this post. Objective, balanced coverage of Russian realities is clearly not a priority. The chosen correspondent is to look at Russia in negative terms, as on the one hand a powerful and dangerous threat, and as on the other hand (somewhat paradoxically) a weak and decaying nation, undermined by a collapsing economy and corrupt government. This is the current ‘story’, and the lucky person who gets the job will be expected to follow it.”

Professor Paul Robinson — University of Ottawa

November 22 2020 — The New York Times has an opening for a new Russia correspondent as Andy Higgins becomes their new Eastern Europe Bureau Chief. The job description makes it very clear what is expected from the successful candidate. Fluency in Russian is not necessary. Negativity is all that is required. The New York Times’s advertisement makes that absolutely clear. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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This is a very prestigious job. The list of the former New York Times’s Moscow correspondents includes Walter Duranty (from 1922 to 1936) who was rightfully described as “The greatest liar who ever lived.”

Job Description

Vladimir Putin’s Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year.

We are eager to hear from those interested in taking on one of the most legendary postings at The Times, a seat occupied by the likes of Bill Keller, Serge Schmemann, Hedrick Smith, Clifford Levy and Ellen Barry. We are looking for someone who will embrace the prospect of traversing 11 time zones to track a populace that is growing increasingly frustrated with an economy dragged down by corruption, cronyism and excessive reliance on natural resources. This posting offers the chance to chronicle the continuing reign of one of the world’s most charismatic leaders, President Vladimir V. Putin. This beat also covers the incredible diversity and variety of the lands of the former Soviet Union. The correspondent can range from Estonia (with its close ties to Scandinavia) to Kyrgyzstan (which has close ties to China).

Not to mention, Putin ushered in changes to the constitution, so he will likely stay in power for many years to come. 

And, of course, we are on the cusp of a new, less Putin-friendly president in the US, which should only raise the temperature between Washington and Moscow. 

“Most people writing for the Times will actually not believe the above nonsense. But the description is not for a position that requires one to weigh and report the facts. It is for a job that requires one to lie. That the Times lists all the recent nonsense about Russia right at the top of the job description makes it clear that only people who support those past lies will be considered adequate to tell future lies about Russia.”

Moon of Alabama

REFERENCES

NYT — Russia Correspondent

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New York Times Hiring Moscow Correspondent [Job description]

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