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Russia cracks down on news organizations

United Press International | May 19, 2005

Russia plans a crackdown on journalists and news organizations that get their facts wrong.

The Washington Times reports that the Duma or parliament is expected to consider the proposed regulations soon. The changes were reportedly drafted by the administration of President Vladimir Putin.

The regulations would include penalizing news organizations or journalists for picking up incorrect stories from others, even when done in good faith. Under current rules, only falsities knowingly passed on can be penalized.

There are also proposed changes to the law on how news media must behave during elections.

Andrei Richter, director of the Media Law and Public Policy Institute, said the changed regulations would be especially tough on small and regional news organizations, which could be shut down if their staffs are arrested or they are forced to pay penalties.

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