Russian TV dodges bad news

first_img June 2, 2021 Find out more News Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown to go further Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption May 5, 2021 Find out more Russia is ranked 148th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. RSF_en News Follow the news on Russia Receive email alertscenter_img Credit: Alexander Nemenov / AFP Organisation RussiaEurope – Central Asia Media independence Freedom of expressionCouncil of Europe Читать на русском / Read in RussianReporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the growing trend of major Russian TV channels ignoring or playing down bad news. A massive fire in a Siberian shopping mall on 25 March was left uncovered for half a day while other dramatic events in recent months have been played down. President Putin’s activities meanwhile get systematic coverage.More than 60 people were killed in the shopping mall fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo but it was ignored for hours by the three leading TV networks – Pervy Kanal and Rossiya 1, which are mainly state-owned, and NTV, which belongs to the mainly state-owned natural gas company Gazprom.Some privately-owned media outlets began live coverage from the disaster scene from as early as midday, but the major TV channels did not report it until their evening news programmes and then only gave it brief mention after long reports about the results of the previous week’s presidential election.Playing up good newsSeveral studies have shown that in recent months the federal TV networks have covered certain “negative” events only partially or belatedly or have ignored them altogether. This was the case with two deadly attacks in schools in Perm and Ulan-Ude in January. They were front-page news in the national newspapers but the three big TV networks dedicated a total of only five reports to each attack. And none of the Sunday new programmes mentioned these tragic events.A knife attack in Siberia in August 2017 in which at least eight people were injured received only sporadic coverage by the big TV channels although it was claimed by Islamic State. Instead the news programmes covered the terrorist attacks in Catalonia, nationalism in the United States and reports that Ukraine had been sending arms to North Korea.Regardless of the possible ad hoc explanations, dissimulation of bad news is consistent with the Russian government’s media policies, of which the federal TV networks are the main tool. On the eve of the 2018 presidential campaign, the leading TV channels were strictly forbidden to broadcast “negative” stories without prior approval from senior media officials in the president’s office.The media were also encouraged to play up positive news chosen by the Kremlin by means of a news exchange system with the regions and leading companies, which was set up before the start of the campaign. According to a BBC Russian service interviewee, the ban on negative TV news has probably been extended until President Putin is sworn in for another term in May.Waiting for management’s green lightAt the federal TV networks, which are still the main source of news for most Russians, self-censorship is the rule and their executives are often summoned for briefings at the Kremlin. But officially the Kremlin keeps its distance and claims that the TV networks decide their own editorial policies.Asked why the leading TV channels were so slow to cover the Kemerovo fire, presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov, who is also in charge of media relations, said “at first no one imagined the scale of the tragedy.” But Peskov himself had said in January that coverage of tragic events “needs a very delicate approach.”“There is no shortage of irony in the government’s repeated condemnation of rumours about the Kemerovo fire,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “By saying nothing about the fire for so long, the state-controlled TV channels were partly to blame. We call on the authorities to respect their own laws, which ban censorship and guarantee the absence of state interference in media editorial policies.”Contradictory explanationsAccording to a Rossiya 1 employee, the newsroom waited for a green light from the management before starting to cover the Kemerovo fire, and this took time because it was a Sunday. Senior staff at the TV channels and in their newsrooms either said that there was already “too much news” to add another report or that “the federal TV channels cannot sow panic in the absence of official information.”Rumours and conspiracy theories were nonetheless already getting a lot of circulation the day after the disaster, along with wild estimates of the death toll. Much of the official message was moreover given over to denouncing a coordinated “campaign” to “destabilize the situation.” RussiaEurope – Central Asia Media independence Freedom of expressionCouncil of Europe May 21, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News News April 3, 2018 Russian TV dodges bad newslast_img read more

European research confirms abortion increases risk of future preterm births

first_imgWorldMag 22 June 2015Studies leading up to a 2009 meta-analysis indicate the medical community has been aware for years of a link between abortions (induced and spontaneous) and subsequent preterm births. New research from Europe pinpoints surgical dilation and curettage (D&C) procedures as the culprit.A D&C is one of the most common methods of first trimester surgical abortion. A doctor may also perform a D&C after a miscarriage (also known as a spontaneous abortion) to remove the lifeless baby’s body.Last week in Lisbon, at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, Dr. Pim Ankum of the Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam presented his analysis of 21 cohort studies involving nearly 2 million women. He found women who had undergone a D&C after an abortion or miscarriage faced in a subsequent pregnancy a 29 percent higher chance of a preterm birth (defined as between 32 and 37 weeks) and a 69 percent greater chance of a very preterm birth (before 32 weeks).During natural labor, the cervix dilates and thins over the course of several hours. But in some D&C procedures, an abortionist expands the cervix with metal rods. The abortionist then uses a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette to kill and scrape out the preborn baby. Ankum suggested the traumatic dilation during a D&C may injure a woman’s cervix, made mostly of muscle, increasing the possibility it will open prematurely in a future pregnancy. The invasive procedure may also introduce certain genital tract infections known to cause premature birth.Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 1 out of every 9 babies born in the United States is preterm. Many of them experience breathing or feeding difficulties, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and hearing or visual impairments. In 2010, more than one-third of all infant deaths in the United States could be traced to preterm-related causes. read more