Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Russia Eyes Media Law Reform

Convention Hall of the first Russian parliamen...Image via Wikipedia
According to a Radio Free Europe story reported in The Epoch Times, media law reform is on the Russian Parliament's radar.

Vying for parliamentary support are two bills. The first measure, backed by Ludmila Narusova, head of the Information Policy Parliamentary Commission, would clarify the legal status of content on the Internet, soliciting input from Web communities and providers. The other bill under consideration has the blessings of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's Unite Russia Party ("URP"), and, Narusova claims, would amend 60 percent of current media law, imposing harsh restrictions.

The URP bill, which the Russian Parliament passed in its first reading last week, empowers Federal Security Agency (FSB) officers to question journalists and censor "extremist" information. The state controls most mass media in Russia. Reporters Without Borders has ranked Russia 153rd in the world regarding press freedom, slightly higher than China and Pakistan.

Guess it's too soon to retire the old joke about Russian journalists breaking into the Kremlin to report on the results of next year's election.

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