Global news media on defense after Putin signed the “fake news” law

London / Los Angeles — Global news media said it would suspend coverage in Russia to protect journalists after a new law threatening a sentence of up to 15 years to spread “fake news.”

The BBC in the UK said Friday it had temporarily suspended coverage in Russia, and by the end of the day, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Bloomberg News said journalists had also suspended work. CNN and CBS News have announced that they will stop broadcasting in Russia, and other media outlets have removed the byline of Russian-based journalists in assessing the situation.

Moscow has sought to counter the information warfare as Russia’s attack on Ukraine has received near-universal criticism. Its communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has called Meta Platform Inc because of 26 discriminations against the Russian media. Blocked Facebook. A TASS press reported that Russia also restricted access to Twitter.

Russian officials said false information was disseminated by Russian enemies such as the United States and Western European allies in an attempt to disperse discord among the Russian people.

Lawmakers have passed a bill to amend the Penal Code, making the disinformation disinformation a fine or imprisonment crime. They also fined those who demanded sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

The Kremlin did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the move of media companies to suspend coverage.

News executives said the new law would prevent independent coverage and endanger journalists, and their organizations must balance their obligations to the audience to report the news and protect journalists from retaliation. Stated.

Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwaite said, “The change in criminal law is designed to turn an independent reporter into a criminal purely associative, so it is not possible to continue the similarities of normal journalism in the country. It’s impossible. ” To his staff. “We don’t do that to reporters.”

BBC Secretary Tim Davey said the new law seems to see the process of independent journalism as a crime.

“While assessing the full impact of this unwelcome deployment, we have no choice but to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff in the Russian Federation,” he said in a statement. ..

He added that the Russian BBC News service will continue to operate from outside Russia. BBC News interim director Jonathan Manro said the company is assessing the impact of the new law rather than “pulling” journalists out of Moscow.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s public broadcaster, said it had temporarily suspended Russia’s ground coverage to seek clarification of the new law.

ABC News, a US television newscaster, said it would suspend broadcasting from Russia because it was assessing the situation. The Washington Post, Dow Jones and Reuters said they are assessing new media law and the situation.

“Our top priority is employee safety and fair and complete coverage of this important story,” said Steve Severinghouse, a Dow Jones spokesperson. “Being in Moscow, being able to talk freely with officials and get a feel for it is the key to that mission.”

By ordering his troops to Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has caused the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War, hitting financial and commodity markets, sending the ruble a tailwind, and once. It caused an unvisited financial isolation. Such a large economy.

Western governments and technology platforms have also banned Russia’s news network RT, and the European Union has accused systematic disinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Media freedom

The Russian Foreign Ministry has their own to explain corruption and devastating foreign wars like Iraq, while the Western media offers a partial and often anti-Russian view of the world. He says he has failed to retain his leader.

Western leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former US President Barack Obama, have long expressed concern about the domination of state media in Russia, and the freedom gained when the Soviet Union collapsed. It states that it was rolled back by Putin.

The new law was drafted in the Russian Senate and signed by Putin, TASS reported. It, in prison terms, seemed to give the Russian state a much stronger power to crack down by making disinformation disinformation a criminal offense.

The House of Representatives, known in Russian as Duma, said in a statement, “If a fake leads to serious consequences, up to 15 years’ imprisonment is threatened.”

Russia had previously blocked access to the websites of several foreign news organizations, including the BBC, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle, for disseminating false information about the war in Ukraine.

The BBC said it would revive the outdated technology used in the Cold War to evade national censorship and begin broadcasting four hours of news a day on shortwave radio in parts of Ukraine and Russia.

Kate Holton, Guy Faulconbridge, Joseph Nasr, Dawn Chmielewski, David Ljunggren