CNN, ABC and CBS News to stop broadcasting in Russia after Putin’s threat to lock up journalists for 12 years: Bloomberg, BBC and Canada’s CBC ‘temporarily suspend’ operations

  • CNN has said it would stop broadcasting in Russia while Bloomberg and the BBC said they would temporarily suspend the work of their journalists there
  • CBS News stated that it is no longer broadcasting from the country 
  • ABC News has several correspondents working in the country currently but none were broadcasting from Russia on Friday night 
  • CBC Canada ‘temporarily suspended’ the work of their journalists in the country 
  • CNN has said it would stop broadcasting in Russia while Bloomberg and the BBC said they would temporarily suspend the work of their journalists there
  • CBS News stated that it is no longer broadcasting from the country 
  • ABC News has several correspondents working in the country currently but none were broadcasting from Russia on Friday night 
  • CBC Canada ‘temporarily suspended’ the work of their journalists in the country 

Russian officials have said that false information has been spread by enemies such as the United States and its Western European allies in an attempt to sow discord among the Russian people.

Lawmakers in Moscow passed amendments to the criminal code making the spread of ‘fake’ information an offense punishable with fines or jail terms. They also imposed fines for anyone calling for sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

The new legislation was passed by parliament and will become law when Vladimir Putin signs it, as he is widely expected to do. It was not clear when Putin would sign the measure.

It appeared to give the Russian state much stronger powers to crack down, by making it a criminal offense to spread fake information, with a jail term of up 15 years for posting about ‘fake news.’

‘CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,’ a spokesperson said Friday. 

‘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,’ Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said in a statement.

CBS News stated that it is no longer broadcasting from the country: ‘CBS News is not currently broadcasting from Russia as we monitor the circumstances for our team on the ground given the new media laws passed today.’ 

It was a similar view taken by ABC News, which has several correspondents working in the country currently. 

‘Because of the new censorship law passed in Russia today, some Western networks including ABC News are not broadcasting from the country tonight. We will continue to assess the situation and determine what this means for the safety of our teams on the ground,’ the network said.

Several other news organizations including the Canadian Broadcasting CBC and the BBC have also suspended their reporting from Russia following the passing of the law.

‘The CBC is very concerned about new legislation passed in Russia, which appears to criminalize independent reporting on the current situation in Ukraine and Russia,’ the CBC said in a statement posted online.

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