Russian news outlet Newsru announces closure and blames political situation | Voice of America
MOSCOW – Russian online news site Newsru said on Monday it was shutting down for economic reasons, saying advertisers were moving away because its selection of articles did not follow pro-Kremlin state media.
The media landscape of Russian television is dominated by the pro-Kremlin state media. There is a bit more variety online and in print, although moves are underway to label critical Kremlin outlets with foreign funding as “foreign agents,” a move that deters advertisers and advertisers. readers.
Newsru, which has operated primarily as a news aggregator in recent years, said it was not economical to continue. “We are stopping work for economic reasons, but they are caused by the political situation in the country,” Newsru said in a farewell note to readers on its website.
The outlet, established in 2000 when President Vladimir Putin was starting his first term in the Kremlin, marked 2014 as a turning point where Russian foreign policy and the structure of the national economy changed dramatically.
It was the year that Russia annexed Crimea to Ukraine, sparking up national patriotic sentiment and sending relations with the West to post-Cold War lows.
“Our image of the day has become so different from the image favored by state resources (media) that major advertisers stopped cooperating with us after the events of 2014, while others began to be particularly suspicious this year, ”Newsru said.
The Kremlin denies cracking down on independent media. He said the online news media landscape is dynamic and people have many sources to choose from and outlets are opening and closing for a variety of reasons.
Russia’s relations with the West this year are extremely strained due to the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a saber fight in neighboring Ukraine.
Newsru also complained about regulations requiring media outlets in Russia to label anyone the state considers “extremist” or “foreign agent” when they refer to them in their articles.
Russia has declared several media “foreign agents”, including the US channel Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, the media portal Meduza and the news site VTimes.
A court is also considering calling for declaring Navalny’s movement “extremist”.
“We have more and more to write about passing restrictive laws that could affect ourselves overnight,” Newsru said. “We have had to label more and more respected people and truthful sources of information as foreign agents and extremists,” he said.