The Russian government continues to censor its news media

by Parker Reed

putin_media_control

Russian president Vladimir Putin

The Russian news media continues to have stricter requirements and limitations placed on their publications by Russian president Vladimir Putin and his administration.

Since coming into power in 2000, president Putin has established control over three large Russian television stations (ORT, NTV and RTR).

Once a station is under government control, Putin appoints editors and general directors to the station, either officially or unofficially. Director of Gazprom-Media, the largest [state] media holding, Dmitry Chernyshenko, obtained his position through a presidential decree.

These editors and directors are required to have weekly sit down meetings with Russian government officials to discuss any upcoming events/news stories and establish what the government would like to cover during the upcoming week.

“Our laws are fairly liberal, when compared to other countries and the powers they grant to their watchdog agencies,” says Russian state official Alexander Zharov in response to criticism of the Russian governments meddling in the news industry.

In addition to the government’s censorship of the television stations, the Internet has also recently become the recipient of the government’s new censorship attempts. meet-the-pr-firm-that-helped-vladimir-putin-troll-the-entire-country

After social media platforms aided in the organization of a street protest in Moscow, Putin refers to the Internet as, “a Central Intelligence Agency plot against Russia.”

Laws have been put into place that prohibit any website from using foul language or spreading of government considered, “false information,” (if they make a claim and can’t immediately support it, they can face a very steep fine.)

In addition to these internet laws, a new law is being put into place requiring bloggers with 3,000 plus daily readers to register with the government.

The Russian population does not seem to mind this censorship however, as a recent poll shows that in times of crisis 6 out of 10 Russian citizens would be in favor of media censorship.

As time each day goes by, it is becoming ever clearer that the Russian government will continue to use the media to push their agenda.

 

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