The media, as this article and the related links below it, is not necessarily a tool for you to get accurate information. The state’s interest in moulding public opinion trumps that consideration (at least as far as the state is concerned). This is the case, increasingly, not only in Russia but worldwide – and that includes here. Note the links following the article for more backstory and context.
November 19, 2008
Mention of ‘collapse’ and ‘crisis’ banned in Russian reportingÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Russia’s prosecutor general ordered all media organizations in the country on Wednesday to exercise caution while reporting on the financial crisis.
In an attempt at curtailing panic, officials said regular inspections will be carried out and organizations not respecting the order may be prosecuted. However, no further details were released.
The new order appears to be the latest attempt by the Kremlin to control how the Russian public perceives the country’s worst economic crisis in a decade.
Meanwhile, it was unclear whether the ban applies to foreign news organizations operating in Russia
Evidence of the Kremlin’s control over the media can be found in that reports of the devastating drop in the Russian stock market or the decline of the ruble have been absent on state-run television.
Across Russia, most TV stations are run by the government or private companies loyal to the Kremlin.
Vladimir Varfolomeyev, an editor at Ekho Moskvy, a local Moscow radio station, wrote in his blog that the Kremlin sent an order to all broadcasters banning the words “collapse” and “crisis.”
Fears of censorship
Russian newspapers and websites have complained the policy amounts to censorship of the media.
The Russian daily Kommersant said the editor of a regional news agency had already been summoned for questioning about his agency’s reporting on regional banks.
However, according to the Interfax new agency, Marina Gridneva, a government official, said no censorship was planned.
Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev confirmed that unfounded rumours published in media outlets were causing a run on the banks, leading to panic in some regions of the country.
In some cases, he added, the rumours were started by unscrupulous businessmen.
In an attempt to boost sagging sentiments, Russia’s finance minister said Wednesday that Russia’s 3.5-trillion ruble ($157 billion) rainy day fund would last at least seven years, even in the worst-case scenario.
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