New York Times Moving Editorial Staff Out Of Russia After Passage Of Censorship Law

The New York Times said that it was moving its staffers out of Russia “for now” after the passage of a censorship law that threatens prison sentences for those whose reporting on the invasion of Ukraine is deemed “fake news.”

The Times’ move follows the responses of other media outlets, which have limited broadcasts from correspondents based there.

A New York Times spokesperson said, “Russia’s new legislation seeks to criminalize independent, accurate news reporting about the war against Ukraine. For the safety and security of our editorial staff working in the region, we are moving them out of the country for now. We look forward to them returning as soon as possible while we monitor the application of the new law.  We will continue our live, robust coverage of the war, and our rigorous reporting on Russia’s offensive in Ukraine and these attempts to stifle independent journalism.”

Last week, CNN, ABC News and CBS News said that they were curbing their broadcasts in Russia, while the BBC said it was suspending reporting from there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law on Friday that punishes those who disseminate  what authorities deem “fake news” about the armed forces or military operations. That has been taken to mean even calling the invasion a “war,” as the government has insisted it is a “special operation.”

Michael Slackman, assistant managing editor for The New York Times, said in a memo to staff that the law “effectively criminalizes independent news reporting about the war against Ukraine.”

“We have been working with legal counsel, security teams, and our team of highly experienced journalists in the region to understand the potential ramifications of this latest maneuver,” he wrote.

More to come.


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