Various media outlets were forced to cancel all operations within Russia as Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, took steps to create laws targeting journalists.
This past Friday, as stated by those at Fox News, Putin put his pen to a new bill to create a new law that would seek to throw journalists in jail for the act of publishing information that does not fall in line with the government official statements in regard to the ongoing conflict taking place in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.
“Under the new law, reporters face up to 15 years in prison if they report what authorities deem as false reports about the military. The legislation was passed by both chambers of the Russian parliament,” claimed the outlet.
“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” claimed CNN in a release, as reported by The Hill.
Another take on this new issue was tweeted out by Brian Stelter, an anchor with CNN.
This just in from a CNN spokesperson: "CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 4, 2022
Tim Davie, the BBC Director-General, also put forth his own statement concerning the new law as a reaction tweet.
“This legislation appears to criminalise the process of independent journalism. It leaves us no other choice than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development,” claimed Davie.
“Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia. The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs,” he continued.
“I’d like to pay tribute to all of them, for their bravery, determination and professionalism. We remain committed to making accurate, independent information available to audiences around the world, including the millions of Russians who use our news services. Our journalists in Ukraine and around the world will continue to report on the invasion of Ukraine,” he stated in conclusion.
Bloomberg News also chimed in, stating, “Bloomberg News will temporarily suspend the work of its journalists inside Russia after President Vladimir Putin signed legislation that criminalizes independent reporting in the country.”
John Micklethwait, the Bloomberg Editor in Chief, also stated in a release on Friday, “We have with great regret decided to temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia.”
“The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country,” claimed Micklethwait.
As stated by Bloomberg, this new Russian law will issue prison sentences of over 15 years for any persons issued a charge of distributing “fake news” about the war or talking about any sanctions against Russia.
The outlet added:
Two liberal local broadcasters, Ekho Moskvy and TV Rain, went off the air Thursday under pressure from prosecutors who’d demanded that access be restricted because of their coverage of Putin’s war in Ukraine. The websites of the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Meduza, an independent news group, weren’t accessible Friday. Facebook and Twitter were blocked by the country’s communications regulator, Interfax reported.