Russia cracks down on news media

Rossiya-1

Logo of one of Russia’s top state-owned television stations

By Allison Anhalt

Since Russia’s conflicts with Ukraine began, media watchdogs have noted that the country has added more propaganda to state owned news and has put more pressure on independent media.  Media is an important part of any society, culture, and country, but some countries are better off than others when it comes to freedom of the press. Freedom of the press refers to the publishing of news material without restriction by the government. In America, freedom of the press is in the First Amendment, but other countries don’t have as much liberty in news, and Russia is one of those countries.

According to the European Journalism Centre , television is a major news source in Russia and there are three main television channels that span throughout almost the entire nation.  These three stations each cover at least 84 percent of Russia and two of the three are owned by the state, while the third is owned by a state controlled energy company.  The primary stations of a country being run by the government can have a higher chance of including propaganda which can impede on the accuracy of the information in the programming.

In fact, Reporters Without Borders’ ranks Russia at 152 out of 180 on the 2015 World Press Freedom Index. The website’s data shows that Russia is behind in Freedom of Press, and this video tells how people view events because of Russian control of media coverage.

There are news organizations in Russia that are independent but the government pressures them as well. A BBC article explains that some journalists are susceptible to attack if they bring up subjects that could be controversial. Even some news outlets that had previously been able to cover all sides of stories, now have been reorganized in a way that suits the government. Overall, Russia has taken a strict to the news media of the country.

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One Response to Russia cracks down on news media

  1. pomaslta says:

    Hi Allison!

    I really enjoyed your article. I find it so hard to believe and picture countries that don’t have the same freedom of the press that we do. There’s a few more things I’d love to know. Because the three main television news sources are owned by the state and big businesses, you highlight that news can be altered in order to suit the government’s interests. Can you offer an example of a situation where this had been the case? Also, what kinds of attacks are journalists threatened with should they write or say something that goes against the government? Do these government rules also apply to the radio and newspaper? It’s obvious that Russian policies differ greatly from the United States’, but how can the government monitor every form of news media? Do they have influence on all fronts?

    -Taylor

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