Misha Japaridze/Associated Press
In buying The Independent, Alexander Lebedev has widened his influence.
Lebedev, a billionaire in the new Russia and a KGB agent in the old USSR, is the owner of 2 London newspapers — The Independent recently and The Evening Standard from last year.
He is quoted as valuing democracy and the transparency of government through investigative reporting.
The irony makes my hand shake with its intensity. As this ebbs, you should consider the influences on British — and by extension, all — journalism by this change in ownership of media companies and by potential social system influences, such as culture or ideology. Will the values of the new Russia (increasingly autocratic) seep into the UK? And what might those be?
The purchase of two UK newspapers in two years suggests that Lebedev’s media interests are not finished. As newspapers struggle worldwide, there are many opportunities for previously anti-journalistic members of the world’s über-wealthy to dabble in the creation and flow of information.