Bloomberg, CNN and BBC Suspend Reporting in Russia

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This story is part of War in Ukraine, CNET’s coverage of events there and of the wider effects on the world.

Bloomberg, CNN and BBC have all stopped their journalists from reporting in Russia, and it’s unclear if or when they’ll resume news operations.

All three organizations announced they were suspending reporting after Russian President Vladimir Putin enacted a new law Friday punishing those who spread “false information” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with sentences of up to 15 years in prison, according to The New York Times.

“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” a CNN spokesperson said. Bloomberg announced it would also stop reporting, citing the threat of criminal repercussions.

“We have with great regret decided to temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia,” Bloomberg Editor in Chief John Micklethwait said in an article explaining the situation. “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.”

The BBC echoed Bloomberg’s lament that Putin’s new legislation “appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism,” BBC Director General Tim Davie said in an article, though he confirmed the news outlet would not stop reporting about the country. “Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia.”

Shortly after, the BBC announced it will provide its international news website on the dark web via the Tor router to circumvent Russian censorship and give citizens access, including its Russian, Arabic and Persian foreign language editions. The BBC had also re-activated its shortwave radio broadcasts to send its programming across the Russian border via a different medium than the internet.

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