Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Putin Shuts Down RIA Novosti News Agency

In a surprise decree published on the Kremlin’s website on Monday, Russia's President Vladimir Putin “liquidated” the RIA Novosti news agency and created a new organization called Rossia Segodnya , or Russia Today — in what many commentators see as a decision to eliminate one of the most balanced news outlets in the Kremlin’s sprawling portfolio of news agencies, newspapers and television stations. “The main focus of the International News Agency Russia Today is to inform abroad about the State Policy of the Russian Federation and public life in the Russian Federation,” the decree said. In contrast to state-owned Federal television channels, which are tightly controlled by the Kremlin and have a reputation for screening hatchet jobs on opposition figures, RIA Novosti appeared to have a licence to operate relatively freely, reporting controversial stories including the 2012 anti-Putin protests in Moscow, and more recently the pro-Europe protests in Ukraine, with little if any bias. In particular, RIA's website was a major source of news for this blog.

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