Mass media outlets in Russia’s Tver region reportedly have instructions to stop covering all ‘negative’ stories
For the week and a half before July 1, when Russia finishes its nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments that could extend Vladimir Putin’s presidency to 2036, mass media outlets in the Tver region are prohibited from reporting any “negative news,” according to local journalists at Politver.
Sources told the website that outlets in Tver have been asked to avoid any stories that “foster a level of negativity about the region,” though local publications have not admitted to these allegations.
Politver monitored reporting by the local mass media to verify these claims and found that daily traffic-collision updates, police reports, and sometimes even coronavirus statistics have suddenly disappeared from regional news coverage.
Though Politver has not specified which media outlets it studies, the magazine 7x7 reviewed Tvernews.ru, Tverigrad.ru, and Afanasy.biz, and found that recent reporting is entirely “positive or neutral.” When 7x7 called Tver Governor Yuri Isakov and asked him about any “recommendation” to the region’s media outlets during the plebiscite, the governor said he was suddenly busy and hung up the phone.
Ahead of the FIFA World Cup, Russia’s Interior Ministry reportedly urged police across the country to refrain from publishing “negative” news stories (mainly, press releases about crimes committed) on the websites of the ministry’s regional departments.