The New York Times Co. has decided to withdraw its editorial staff from Russia while the British Broadcasting Corporation has decided to resume reporting in the country, as media continue to wrestle with the implications of a new law that affects the media coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The law, an amendment to the country’s criminal code, which Russia’s lower house of parliament approved on Friday, says anyone found guilty of knowingly disseminating false information and data about the use of Russia’s armed forces would be punished with a prison term of up to 15 years or a fine of up to 1.5 million rubles, the equivalent of about $10,500.
“New Russian legislation seeks to criminalize independent and accurate news reporting on the war against Ukraine,” a New York Times spokeswoman said Tuesday. We look forward to their return as soon as possible while we monitor the application of the new law.
The BBC, meanwhile, said on Tuesday it had decided to resume English-language reporting from Russia after considering “the implications of the new legislation as well as the urgent need to report from inside Russia. “.
The BBC’s decision comes days after it decided to temporarily suspend the work of its journalists in Russia following the passage of the new law on Friday. On the same day, US television stations such as CNN, ABC News and CBS News said they would stop broadcasting in Russia, and Bloomberg News suspended the work of its reporters inside the country.
On Saturday, The Washington Post said it would remove bylines and dates from some stories as it continues to investigate whether Russia’s new restrictions apply to international news outlets.
Dow Jones & Co., which publishes The Wall Street Journal, had no immediate comment on Tuesday. On Friday, a Dow Jones spokesperson said, “Our top priorities are the safety of our employees and covering this important story fairly and completely. Being in Moscow, being able to talk freely to officials and picking up the mood, is the key to this mission.
Many tech companies are also no longer active in Russia. On Friday, Russian authorities blocked Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook in response to restrictions the social media platform allegedly imposed on Russian media. TikTok from ByteDance Ltd. on Sunday suspended new content from Russia as a result of the new law, while Netflix Inc. also halted service there.