Tag Archives: Russia

Russia continues crackdown on freedom of expression

Russian president Vladimir V. Putin signed a new law into effect that requires bloggers to register with the government.

Russia Quietly Tightens Reins on Web with Bloggers Law 

The new law states that any blog site with more than 3,000 followers is the same as a newspaper or broadcast outlet, and thus, is required to register with the state. The law also bans anonymous bloggers.

It is this last point that has many critics of the Putin government troubled. Russia is already in the NOT FREE category by Freedom House (and other freedom of expression organizations.)

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Russia steps up censorship of LGBT discussion

Looks like it is even a crime to report on what it is like to be gay in Russia: Russian editor fined for breaking ‘gay propaganda’ law

A Russian court has fined a newspaper editor for publishing an interview with a gay school teacher who was quoted as saying “homosexuality is normal.”

Alexander Suturin, editor of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik, a weekly published in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk near the border with China, was ordered to pay a fine of 50,000 rubles (£870) for violating a law that bans “gay propaganda” among minors.

Suturin, who is to appeal against the ruling, published an interview with a geography teacher, Alexander Yermoshkin, after he had been fired because of his sexual orientation (see details in the Moscow Times).

So the Russian government is now saying that accurate reporting is the same as propaganda.

Guess that is always the way the KGB types always looked at the media.

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Pot, meet kettle. Russian media question Honduran elections

It really is funny to see a Russian operation raise questions about the fairness of any election. (Four years after coup: Will Honduran elections be fair?)

And the reporter picked one of the least objective sources for the basis of the article. Opinions are fine if identified as such, but there was absolutely no effort at balance in this “news” story from Honduras.

 

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Filed under Central America, Honduras, International News Coverage

Really Russia? Reporting is propaganda.

Thanks to Roy Greenslade at The Guardian for this tidbit.

Russian paper accused of ‘gay propaganda’ for reporting news

A Russian newspaper has been accused of breaking the country’s “gay propaganda” law because it published a news story about a teacher who was fired because of his sexual orientation.

The state’s media watchdog, the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service (FMMIS), sent the editor-in-chief of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik a notice claiming the item propagated homosexual relations.

It followed a report in the paper, based in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk, that included an interview with geography teacher Alexander Yermoshkin about the circumstances of his dismissal

I guess Moscow will use any excuse to shut down reporting it doesn’t like.

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Russia reverts to threatening journalists, this time on Olympic coverage

The latest take down in Russia is that journalists using “non-professional” equipment will lose their credentials at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Olympics Will Not Be Tweeted, Vined, Or Instagrammed — Or Maybe They Will (BuzzFeed)

The news came directly from the state-run association that handles press credentials and reported on NewsRu.com

The use of mobile phones by journalists who write for the filming of athletes or spectators during the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi will be considered a serious violation and will result in cancellation of their accreditation. - Journalists are banned from shooting gadgets Olympics in Sochi

The Atlantic reports:

At a seminar for sports reporters covering the games on Friday, Vasily Konov, the state-run RIA’s top sports journalist, made clear any time a journalist is caught using their phone to capture the Games in real time it “will be considered a serious violation and will result in cancellation of accreditation.” RIA’s sports division handles accreditation for Sochi. Only photographers will special passes and appropriate equipment — proper SLR and digital video cameras — will be able to document the action. “The organizers, of course, will not affect the usual crowd,” Konov told the gathered reporters , but assured them organizers would punish those who are caught.

And right after that the International Olympic Committee had to step in and reassure journalists that use of social media is not a “get kicked out of the country” offense. The IOC responded to an e-mail query from USAToday:

Journalists will be allowed to use Instagram, Twitter and other social media to post still photos and news from the Sochi Olympics, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams confirmed to For The Win in an email on Monday.

“Please take as many photos as you like!” he wrote.

While it may look as if this little kerfuffle has settled down — the IOC, after all runs the Olympics and forced China into taking most of its Internet censoring software — the issue of how Russia treats free and independent media is still a big issue.

Reporters and news teams have been arrested and harassed as they try to do stories about the Olympic preparations. And others have had their credentials either delayed, denied or withdrawn. (Russia Curbs Freedom of Press Ahead of Olympics)

The harassment also extends to NGOs trying to get word out about environmental damage caused by the Olympic preparation. (And, of course, to reporters talking to those NGOs.)

According to Freedom House, Russian media are not free.

 

Although the constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, officials used the country’s politicized and corrupt court system to harass the few remaining independent journalists who dared to criticize widespread abuses by the authorities.

 

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Filed under Censorship, Freedom of access, Freedom of Information, Harassment, International News Coverage, Press Freedom