10 March 2022 | By Richard Ahern – In the wake of the Ukraine invasion, Russia state-controlled media outlets have been banned in western countries for “disinformation”.
The assault on Russian media has been extensive coming from governments and corporations alike.
Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik have been banned in all 27 countries in the European Union. The sanction means that all EU broadcasters are prohibited from showing any RT and Sputnik content.
The United Kingdom mirrored this approach. After the invasion of Ukraine, RT, formerly called Russia Today, was wiped from all UK broadcasting platforms. Ofcom, the UK’s government-approved regulatory authority for broadcasting has launched 27 investigations into RT due to the “impartiality of news programmes”.
Big Tech followed suit…
Google, which owns YouTube, has blocked all RT and Sputnik YouTube channels across Europe. Microsoft removed RT from its global app store and de-ranked RT and Sputnik websites on Bing. Meta (parent company of Facebook) has banned all users from accessing RT and Sputnik content in Europe and stopped the outlets from earning any ad revenue.
RT commented on the ban saying, “the facade of free press in Europe has finally crumbled.”
In the United States, it’s been reported that RT America has ceased productions and laid off its staff after being dropped by its satellite carrier DirecTV due to the Ukraine invasion.
Overall, we have seen a shotgun approach by western governments and corporations to censor Russian media.
On the other side of the world…
Unsurprisingly, Russia took a similar approach, banning all western media outlets in their country. The Kremlin has also banned Facebook and is restricting Twitter access across Russia.
We also saw the introduction of Putin’s new “fake news” law.
Under the new law, journalists in Russia can face up to 15 years in prison if they are found to be distributing what the Russian government deems as fake news concerning the invasion of Ukraine. Simply referring to the “special military operation” as a war could land you in prison. This has led to western media outlets shutting their offices in Russia for the fear of their journalists being arrested.
Media is power…
Putin wants to keep a firm grip on what Russian citizens see in the news, making sure they only watch state-backed propaganda. For Putin, media is power, and making sure Russian citizens only watch state-approved content ensures his political support remains strong since he controls the narrative. In simple terms, the Russian government doesn’t trust its people enough to allow them to have balanced access to all points of view concerning the news.
Here’s the hypocrisy:
After banning Russian media, how can European countries and the US claim to be any better? Are we supposed to believe that only Russian media outlets are biased?
All media outlets are biased!
Just look at the stark contrast between CNN and Fox News and you’ll see how every media company has its own spin on the “facts”. For western governments to pretend like Russian media companies are the only ones with a biased perspective is insulting to our intelligence.
Let’s face the truth:
I would argue it is almost impossible for any media company to be completely impartial and objective because journalists are humans — everything we write is influenced by our beliefs, consciously and subconsciously. Granted, RT and Sputnik are funded by the Russian government, but western media are equally influenced by investors with political leanings.
The public has woken up to the fact that mainstream media is biased. In recent years we have seen a huge migration of people leaving mainstream media behind in favor of independent media sources, like us at LifeLine Media.
But don’t get me wrong…
RT and Sputnik are hideously biased in favor of Putin, but are they really so different to a network like CNN that spent four years slandering President Trump?
By censoring media, our governments can’t claim to be any better than the Russian government on this issue. Just like Russia, they are saying that we can’t be trusted to have access to all points of view and make our minds up for ourselves.
The word “freedom” is supposed to mean something to western nations. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are Putin’s enemies, not ours. The Ukrainian people are fighting for that very freedom as we speak!
We should let the people of Europe and the US see the Russian propaganda machine for what it is, rather than censoring it, which counterproductively piques curiosity as to why this content is suddenly forbidden. Seeing the lies the Russian people are fed by their media is something we should all be educated on.
Censoring Russian media outlets is a mistake and extremely hypocritical considering the situation in Russia.
I guess our leaders don’t think we’re smart enough to figure out the truth.
Putin fears his people will turn on him if they have access to western media.
Why do our governments fear us having access to the Russian media?
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References (Fact-check guarantee)
EU imposes sanctions on state-owned outlets RT/Russia Today and Sputnik’s broadcasting in the EU: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/03/02/eu-imposes-sanctions-on-state-owned-outlets-rt-russia-today-and-sputnik-s-broadcasting-in-the-eu/ [Government website]
Ofcom launches further investigations into RT: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2022/ofcom-launches-a-further-12-investigations-into-rt?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social [Government website]
- Russia Duma Passes Law on ‘Fake News’: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/03/04/russia-duma-passes-law-on-fake-news-a76754 [Straight from the source]