Putin Signs Anti-Journalism Law: CNN, Bloomberg, BBC Leave Russia

Numerous media outlets ceased operations in Russia, due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on journalists.

As Fox News says, Putin signed a bill into law on Friday that would punish journalists for publishing evidence contradicting government pronouncements about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.


Statements and Reactions

“CNN will suspend programming in Russia as we assess the situation and determine our next steps,” CNN said in a statement, according to The Hill.

Brian Stelter, a CNN anchor, also posted about the situation.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie responded to the new law through Twitter.

“Our BBC News in Russian service will keep operating from a location outside of Russia. Our employees’ safety is vital, and we are unwilling to subject them to criminal prosecution for performing their responsibilities,” he added.

“I’d like to commend them all for their courage, determination, and expertise. We remain committed to providing reliable, unbiased information to audiences worldwide, including the millions of Russians who access our news services.”

“Our reporters in Ukraine and throughout the world will continue to cover the Ukrainian invasion,” he added.

According to Bloomberg News, “Bloomberg News will temporarily cease its correspondents’ work within Russia, following President Vladimir Putin’s signing of legislation criminalizing independent reporting in the country.”

“With great sadness,” Bloomberg Editor in Chief John Micklethwait stated on Friday, “we have chosen to cease our news gathering inside Russia temporarily.”

“The amendment to the criminal code, which appears to be intended to convert every independent reporter into a criminal solely by affiliation, makes it difficult to maintain any form of legitimate journalism inside the country,” Micklethwait noted.

Local Broadcasters

Bloomberg reports the Russian measure will impose prison sentences of up to 15 years on individuals convicted of spreading “false news” about the troops or advocating for sanctions against Russia.

Bloomberg said two liberal regional broadcasters, Ekho Moskvy and TV Rain, were forced to suspend operations on Thursday after prosecutors asked access be restricted, due to their coverage of Putin’s conflict in Ukraine.

The BBC, Deutsche Welle, and Meduza, an independent news organization, all had their websites down on Friday. According to Interfax, the country’s communications regulator has barred Facebook and Twitter.

As reported by Fox, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s president of global affairs, expressed in a statement on Thursday, “soon millions of regular Russians would be cut off from credible information, deprived of their daily means of interacting with family and friends, and silenced from speaking up.”

Ukraine’s situation continues to deteriorate as Ukrainians defend their homeland against Russian assault.

Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina, said on Friday, “I’m hoping someone in Russia understands that he is ruining Russia and you need to get rid of him by any means possible.”