This study examines the questions of ethics and transparency in Russian journalism. The paper explains instances of non-transparent behavior among Russian journalists in light of economic hardship that Russian journalists in the province face in their everyday life. Specifically, this study attempts to explicate the connection between transparency, journalism ethics, and economic and social conditions in which regional journalists function in Russia. This paper argues that morality may depend on economic conditions of an individual and poor economic conditions tend to diminish human dignity. In turn, diminished human dignity more readily puts in jeopardy professional ethical principles and contributes to non-transparent media practices. Poor economic conditions have implications for regional journalism practice in Russia, where they create a vicious circle which Russian journalists fail to break.