Increasing pressure on independent Russian media

Increasing pressure on independent Russian media

Pressure on Russian media by authorities have reached a new peak prior to the upcoming parliamentary elections, International Press Institute (IPI) says referring to that the ministry of justice has listed one of the country’s largest independent online broadcaster TV Rain ( Dozhd) a “foreign agent.” Listing media criticizing the Kremlin as “foreign agent” is increasing and used as a way to make media outlets’ work difficult or impossible.

I number of Russian media have published on open letter to the authorities urging them to stop this way of attacking independent media. A increasing number of media have recently been labelled “foreignt agent”. Authorities say these media are foreign-funded organisations engaged in political activity. The authorities deny that media outlets are persecuted and say the legislation is needed to protect Russian media from foreign influences.

News outlet Meduza, based in Latvia and run by journalists who have left Russia and also labelled a “foreign agent” wrote: “These statuses either lead to media being shut down or create discriminatory conditions for them to work. We’re sure these events are part of an orchestrated campaign to destroy independent Russian media whose only ‘fault’ is to honestly carry out their professional duties to their readers,” it said on its website.

Russian courts have in many cases recently fined social media companies for not following authorities’ instructions to take down comments etc that the authorities say are incorrect.

IPI called the pressure on Russian media the biggest crackdown on independent media in Russia in several years and urged “international condemnation of the escalating assault on media freedom by the Kremlin ahead of next month’s parliamentary election.”

IPI said pressure on media by authorities reached a new peak when the justice ministry listed TV Rain  a “foreign agent”.

“The same day, investigative platform Vazhnye Istorii (IStories), its editor-in-chief and five journalists were also added to the growing list of “foreign agents”, a label which effectively blacklists the outlet, deters funding or advertising and leaves reporters facing possible jail time for their work”, IPI said.

“The labelling of Dozhd TV and iStories represents the most outrageous use to date of this Soviet-style ‘foreign agent’ law by Russian authorities and another blatant attack on what remains of independent media within the country”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said.

“While Russia says that media slapped with the ‘foreign agent’ moniker can continue working, the reality is that it can be a death sentence, as advertisers pull out and the outlet is slowly starved of financing. Numerous publications have been forced to close for fear their journalists will be prosecuted and more are likely to follow.”

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

[email protected]

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.