Bloomberg, CNN, and the BBC have all stopped sending journalists to Russia, and it’s unclear when or if they’ll restart reporting.
According to The New York Times, all three organizations stated that they will cease reporting after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law on Friday penalizing people who propagate “false information” regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with up to 15 years in jail.
“CNN will cease airing in Russia while we assess the situation and determine our future measures,” a CNN representative stated. Bloomberg also indicated that it will cease reporting due to the potential of criminal charges.
In an essay outlining the issue, Bloomberg Editor in Chief John Micklethwait wrote, “With great sorrow, we have chosen to temporarily cease our newsgathering within Russia.” “The modification in the criminal law, which appears to be meant to turn every independent reporter into a criminal just by connection, makes any semblance of legitimate journalism impossible to continue within the nation.”
In an essay, BBC Director-General Tim Davie reiterated Bloomberg’s complaint that Putin’s new legislation “appears to criminalize the practice of independent journalism,” albeit he assured the news organization will continue to report on the nation. “Our Russian-language BBC News service will continue to function outside Russia.”
Shortly after, the BBC stated that its worldwide news website, including its Russian, Arabic, and Persian foreign language versions, will be available on the dark web using the Tor network to evade Russian censorship and provide residents access. The BBC had also reactivated its shortwave radio transmissions to distribute programs across the Russian border via a means other than the internet.