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Why Russian TV networks waited two hours to report bombings

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Roy Greenslade
London Guardian
April 1, 2010

News of the underground suicide bombings in Moscow on Monday led news broadcasts around the world within minutes of the explosions. But not in Russia.

Time magazine reports that none of the country’s three main TV networks interrupted their normal broadcasts to report Russia’s worst terrorist attack in five years.

Critics say the slow response of the networks — Channel One, Rossia 1 and NTV — is indicative of the state of television journalism in Russia today. They claim that the broadcasters have been so cowed by the Kremlin, they are incapable of covering events of vital national importance.

Arina Borodina, a TV critic with Moscow’s Kommersant newspaper, says: “Can you imagine an attack during rush hour in New York or Paris, and a television channel doesn’t show anything for two hours?”

Ever since Vladimir Putin came to power a decade ago, the Kremlin has steadily reined in the coverage of the main television networks, all of which are controlled by the government or state-owned companies.

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This article was posted: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 4:03 am





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