Up to two-hour delay in Russian television reports on the Moscow subway bombings.

Posted: 01 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"The news of the subway suicide bombings in Moscow on Monday — Russia's worst terrorist attack in five years — led news broadcasts around the world almost immediately after the event unfolded. But in Russia, viewers who tuned in to the country's three main television networks that morning had little reason to suspect anything was amiss — they were watching shows about cooking and makeovers. The networks, all of which are controlled by the government or state-owned companies, stayed with their regularly scheduled programming as the tragedy unfolded, waiting for up to two hours to provide their first substantive reports on the attacks, which killed at least 39 people. Bloggers and political commentators say the slow response of the networks — Channel One, Rossia 1 and NTV — is indicative of the state of television journalism in Russia today: the major broadcasters have been so cowed by the Kremlin over the past decade, they're incapable of effectively covering events of vital national importance." Carl Schreck, Time, 31 March 2010.
     "Seeking information, people turned in droves to the radio and the Internet, which are largely uncensored." Michael Schwirtz, New York Times, 30 March 2010. Many people tune to international broadcasting when rumors of local crises develop, but local media fail to report the events. A similar situation occurred after the Crenobyl disaster, which led to Galsnost and perhaps even to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. After the recent Moscow subway bombings, did Muscovites dust off their old shortwave radios, or seek international media via the internet, or seek domestic Russian social media?
     "Yulia Shapovalova, a presenter for the Russia Today TV station, was at one of the Moscow Metro stations at the time of the explosion. She describes what happened." BBC News, 30 March 2010. Video: Gather, 29 March 2010.
     "The attackers, believed to be Chechen female suicide bombers, struck first at Lubyanka station, located beside FSB headquarters in Moscow, and 45 minutes later at Park Kultury, which is just across the street from a huge complex that houses the Kremlin's news agency RIA-Novosti and the studios of the state-run English-language Russia Today satellite TV network." Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor, 1 April 2010.
     "'Voice of Russia' listeners throughout the globe have condemned the terrorist acts on the Moscow metro and express solidarity with the people of Russia." Voice of Russia, 31 March 2010. See previous post about same subject.