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9 Mar, 2022 11:50

BBC resumes broadcasts for Russia

Reporting was paused to assess the new ‘fake news’ law adopted by Moscow
BBC resumes broadcasts for Russia

BBC News resumed its English-language broadcasts from Russia on Tuesday evening. The British public broadcaster temporarily suspended reporting last week, after a new law in Russia criminalized deliberate misinformation about the actions of its armed forces.

The BBC said the decision to return was made after “careful deliberation” of the implications of the new law.

“We will tell this crucial part of the story independently and impartially, adhering to the BBC’s strict editorial standards,” the outlet said in a statement on Tuesday. “The safety of our staff in Russia remains our number one priority.”

The BBC was one of several Western media outlets that paused reporting from Russia due to the new law. Moscow said it was necessary due to the escalation of what it called a Western propaganda war against Russia since it launched the military offensive against Ukraine in late February. BBC Director General Tim Davie described the effect of the law last week as exposing journalists to the “risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs.”

Both Russia and Western nations imposed pressure on the media amid the Ukraine conflict. State-funded Russian outlets like RT and Sputnik were simply banned by the EU and other nations, with US tech giants participating in the purge. The move was justified by accusations of spreading misinformation and trying to destabilize Western democracies through their reporting.

In Russia, several prominent opposition-leaning outlets like Echo of Moscow and TV Rain were stripped of their broadcasting licenses under accusations of misinforming their audiences about events in Ukraine and had to suspend operations.

Russian media watchdog RKN ordered the websites of several foreign outlets, including the BBC Russian Service, to be blocked. The BBC has gone in the opposite direction of the New York Times regarding the Russian law. The newspaper has withdrawn all of its staff from Russia, it said on Tuesday.

The Washington Post decided to not publish bylines and locations of stories written by its Russian staff to protect them.

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