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New Russian Laws Run Independent Journalism Out Of Country

New Russian Laws Run Independent Journalism Out Of Country

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, state forces are working to control what information leaves the country. New laws being passed are affecting journalists, making it potentially hazardous to continue working within the country.

[Photo by Alexei NikolskyTASS via Getty Images]

Russia is known for its state media, which controls information disseminated to citizens, and is often filled with propaganda. (In fact, it has recently used clips of American media entities praising Russia.) However, according to NPR, new laws are being put into effect controlling what can be said by other media outlets.

On its surface, the new legislation is against spreading “fake news.” The legislation includes steep punishments – ranging from 3 to 15 years depending on specifics, including what the motive and consequences of the actions are deemed to be, and who is doing it.

However, the biggest problem with ‘fake news’ in any country will always be who gets to define what is fake and what is factual, especially if those definitions lie outside evidence and demonstrable facts.

In this case, it includes spreading information to discredit the Russian military. This could be widely interpreted to include anything against the Ukraine invasion, or any news about military failures or losses, or perhaps even protests against the invasion.

A BBC news director has already shared that the network will be temporarily suspending operations within the country.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press has reported that the country is blocking access to media outlets that are critical of the invasion, but that several approved media sites have been hacked to pass anti-invasion messages.

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