If you follow news of Russia, you’ll know that the Kremlin has engaged over recent years in an ongoing exertion of control over media outlets. All three national television networks, for example, are directly controlled by the state. The Moscow Times in 2006 reported that one newspaper that frequently published anti-Kremlin stories was purchased by the wife of the assistant to an Economic Development and Trade Minister in the Kremlin. (The minister acknowledged that he of course could not purchase the paper himself because he was a state employee.)
The New York Times has a new report detailing the depths of the muzzling effect–that even “independent” media have explicit rules imposed on them regarding what they can and cannot say:
At their first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia’s largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be “positive.”In addition, opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air and the United States was to be portrayed as an enemy, journalists employed by the network, Russian News Service, say they were told by the new managers, who are allies of the Kremlin.
Read more here.