September 17, 2015
It is quite interesting to read now in checking out what the media status is in Russia (1) that it is reported as regarding public slander of state officials as a form of extremist activity (a bill approved by Russian parliament : Law on Fighting extremist Activity, 2006). On looking at the article it seems to refer specifically to defamation of a public official of the Russian Federation in connection with the performance of his or her duties. (2)
The Russian media is nevertheless obviously diverse, and some english- speaking print media publications seem to be freely available in hotels for example, such as The Moscow Times.
The agency Roskomnadzor (3) is a Russian communications agency that blocks certain websites or allows blacklisting. It is a federal agency monitoring mass communications and electronic communications, and publishes an english-language website, which among other things has a section on requirements for regulated entities, and lists regulatory acts which seems could be useful in researching various media publishing restrictions in Russia media, or print media.
Another part of the Russian media scene or regulatory situation which could affect media at least, seems to be the classification of foreign NGOs as foreign agents. There is one 2015 report by Reporters Without Borders (4) showing that a Russian media organisation, the Media Rights Defence Centre, has been classified as political and receiving foreign funding, which apparently allows it to be classified as a foreign agent.
Russian media, and media freedom seems a very frequently discussed subject, and maybe could be said to also lead to many other, and often, politically interesting, questions.
Katrina Wood is a freelance journalist, recently in Moscow for several trips as a tourist and currently [was, at the time of this writing] living in Berlin. She is a NZ citizen, and has previously written a blog on criminalization of defamation, published in 2014.