Breaking: Putin takes control of state media

Breaking: Putin takes control of state media


norman lebrecht

December 09, 2013

The Russian President signed a decree today, announcing the reorganisation of the news agency Ria-Novosti and the broadcaster Voice of Russia. Both will be brought under direct Kremlin control.

Another glimmer of free speech has been snuffed out.

Here’s Ria announcing its disappearance.



  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    SLowly but surely it seems that FREEDOM in Russia is returning to what it used to be: NONEXISTENT. How very sad.

  • Steve Foster says:

    There is state media in the USA as well. The main stream media like CBS, ABC, FNC, MSNBC, CNN, HLN, and the like simply parrot the establishment talking points. There’s no difference.

  • Patricia says:

    I am really going to enjoy Team Canada, Team Sweden, and Team USA embarrass Team Russia during the Olympic Hockey tournament. They won’t be able to suppress that.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      That’s a very unsporty attitude. Whatever team plays the best game should win. Why do you want to see Russian hockey players humiliated for the policies of their government?

  • David H. says:

    “Voice of America” is 100% run by the US government. Why do you apply double standards for Russia, when they intend to run “Voice of Russia” likewise? Most western countries have one state media channel, to broadcast government POV. The US has it’s “Voice of America”, Germany has “Deutsche Welle” and Russia has “Voice of Russia”. But hey, Putin is the bogey man, booooohh…

    “Putin takes control of state media” is a misleading headline, when in fact he IS in control by definition.

    • David H. says:

      “Both will be brought under direct Kremlin control.

      Another glimmer of free speech has been snuffed out.”

      So will you correct this factually wrong information, now you know the truth, Mr. Lebrecht?

    • Gonout Backson says:

      You really, seriously, DO think that a “state controlled” Deutsche Welle and a “state controlled” Russian media is the same thing?

      • David H. says:

        Yes, by definition. Everybody is free to discuss the content these broadcasters distribute. But that is not the issue here. Mr. Lebrecht did attack only the fact, that Russia is having a government media outlet, but failed to argue, why in case of Russia this is a crime, but not in case of the US or Germany.

        Do you know anything “Voice of Russia” is broadcasting? Do you know anything about Russia first hand actually? I doubt it…

  • m2n2k says:

    It is true that all “Voices of” are controlled by governments. But the case of RIA-Novosti is different. Unlike its western counterparts, it is a state-controlled agency too, but during the last 20 years it has earned reputation as being relatively independent, at least by Russian standards. Now it will be replaced by “Russia Today” which will be led by Dmitry Kiselyov, who gained notoriety several months ago when, while discussing Russian law that prohibits “propaganda of non-standard sexuality”, said the following (translation by RIA-Novosti, incidentally): “I believe that imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda to minors is insufficient. They should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm and, in the case of a [fatal] road accident, their hearts should be either buried or cremated as unsuitable for the prolongation of anybody’s life”. Such lovely sentiments! Later of course he maintained that he was just worrying of his compatriots’ health when he said those things. Sure. And of course Gonout Backson is absolutely correct: those who think that freedom of information and independence of media in today’s Russia are the same as in the West are badly mistaken.

    • Gonout Backson says:

      Thank you, m2n2k. Since this is a musical blog, I’ll say that we’ve been hearing this kind of “music” for decades. There is no convincing Steven Foster or David H., since what they express is not an opinion, not even a conviction. It’s an act of faith. Anyway, it would take a book to show how wrong they are, and many have been written, to no avail: “You cannot reason a person out of something they were not reasoned into.”.