It is rather nice for a journalist to work in Russia, unlike in Europe

Summary

Even if everything is not perfect, the situation of press freedom in Russia is not as black as some people want to portray it. In general, it is rather nice for a journalist to work in Russia. Many information and public registers are accessible, which facilitates the work of investigative journalists.

Whilst Russia is often singled out in this area, take the recent example of Russian media being refused accreditation for a conference in Britain precisely on the topics of press freedom. These kinds of decisions only weaken international standards of freedom of information.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the Western media not being independent and biased while Russia protects freedom of speech and the press.

As for the non-admission of Russian disinformation outlets to the conference on freedom of speech in the UK, RT and Sputnik were the only Russian media banned from the conference for an "over active role in spreading disinformation''. Other Russian media were accredited and attended.

In July 2019, RT received a fine of 20,000 British pounds from the British regulator OFCOM "for serious failures to comply with our broadcasting rules".

According to Reporters without borders, Russia is in 149th place out of 180 countries. "What with draconian laws and website blocking, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since the big anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with propaganda, the climate has become very oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse", explains the NGO.

See here for more disinformation cases on the violations of the rights of Russian journalists in Europe, and media freedom in general.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 173
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, UK, France
  • Keywords: Russia Today (RT), Freedom of speech
  • Outlet: RT France
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White Helmets were involved in the production of videos of staged “chemical attacks”

Western Media told fairy tales of tens and hundreds of thousands of people supposedly saved from chemical attacks of Damascus. But actually the White Helmets were mainly involved in the production of fake videos of staged “chemical attacks”, for example in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017 or in Douma in 2018.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives aiming to discredit the White Helmets and claiming that the Khan Shaykhun and Douma chemical attacks were staged by Western actors in order to justify military action against the Assad regime.

The OPCW’s Fact Finding Mission confirmed that people in Khan Shaykhun were exposed to sarin, a chemical weapon, on 4 April 2017. "The OPCW FFM has confirmed the use of sarin, a nerve agent, during the 4 April incident in Khan Shaykhun in Syria,” mentioned its Director-General in a report published on June 30, 2017.

Russia will be acquitted in the crash of MH17 for a bribe

Ukrainian media revealed a “conspiracy”: Europe will admit Russia’s innocence of the crash of the Boeing MH17  if Moscow pays Amsterdam a “compensation”.

Russia and the Netherlands allegedly are in secret negotiations to pay compensation for the crashed airliner without admitting guilt for the tragedy.

Disproof

No evidence given regarding possible secret talks and recognition of the alleged Russia's innocence in the MH17 crash. Recurring disinformation narrative on MH17 downing.

Earlier this year, the Dutch foreign minister announced that his country was in diplomatic discussions with Russia about whether Moscow bears legal responsibility in the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine.

Jewish media provide cover for transnational pedophile rings

A number of Jewish-led media networks are working together to hunt down the whistle blower who provided a damning tape featuring ABC News anchor Amy Robach admitting to a conspiracy covering up the Jeffrey Epstein VIP paedophile ring.

Disproof

The article indulges what is arguably the oldest conspiracy theory in existence: that the Jewish people are an international cabal secretly controlling or poisoning the "elite" strata of human society, in this case the media and national governments. See here and here for more examples of pro-Kremlin outlets embracing anti-Semitic myths for disinformation purposes.

As for media "cover up", the New York prosecutor Geoffrey Berman said during the announcing of new charges against Epstein in July 2019 that his team was "assisted by excellent investigative journalism".