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BBC Resumes Reporting From Russia After ‘Temporary Suspension’

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The BBC is resuming its journalism and broadcasting from inside Russia tonight.

On Friday, the organisation had announced the ‘temporary suspension’ of all its BBC News journalists and support staff in Russia after authorities passed legislation which director-general Tim Davie said appeared to ‘criminalise the process of independent journalism’.

A statement released on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, read: ‘We have considered the implications of the new legislation alongside the urgent need to report from inside Russia.

The corporation took the decision after ‘careful deliberation’ (Picture: Getty)

‘After careful deliberation we have decided to resume English language reporting from Russia this evening (Tuesday 8 March), after it was temporarily suspended at the end of last week.

‘We will tell this crucial part of the story independently and impartially, adhering to the BBC’s strict editorial standards.’

‘The safety of our staff in Russia remains our number one priority,’ it concluded.

Tim Davie had announced the temporary suspension on Friday (Picture: PA)

The new censorship law brought in could see reporters imprisoned for up to 15 years for the publication of ‘fake news’ concerning its armed forces.

Reacting to the new legislation passed by the Russian authorities on Friday, Davie said: ‘This legislation appears to criminalise the process of independent journalism.

‘It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development.

Clive Myrie left Ukraine but vowed to be back (Picture: BBC)

‘Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia.

‘The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs. I’d like to pay tribute to all of them, for their bravery, determination, and professionalism.

‘We remain committed to making accurate, independent information available to audiences around the world, including the millions of Russians who use our news services.

He concluded: ‘Our journalists in Ukraine and around the world will continue to report on the invasion of Ukraine.’

Jonathan Munro, Director of BBC News had shared his ‘heavy heart’ at the news, while the team sought to assess the impact of the new laws ‘which outlaw independent journalism’.

He added: ‘Thoughts with colleagues in Moscow whose voices cannot be silenced for long.’

Munro also reassured the public that journalists were remining in situ in Russia, explaining: ‘We are not pulling out @BBCNews journalists from Moscow, as some articles are suggesting. We cannot use their reporting for the time being but they remain valued members of our teams and we hope to get them back on our output as soon as possible.’

On Friday the broadcaster had also published advice for Russians as to how they could access their news services.

It came after reports of problems accessing the BBC website in Russia after the Kremlin criticised its coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.

Responding to the development, the BBC said: ‘Access to accurate, independent information is a fundamental human right which should not be denied to the people of Russia, millions of whom rely on BBC News every week.

‘We will continue our efforts to make BBC News available in Russia, and across the rest of the world.’

The organisation also shared advice in a tweet on how Russian citizens could use circumvention tools, such as the Psiphon app, as well as the Tor browser, in order to try and access the BBC News website.

The BBC recommencing reporting from inside Russia came after Clive Myrie returned to London, having fled Ukraine through Moldova and Romania, following 12 days of reporting from the country’s capital Kyiv alongside the corporation’s chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet.

The pair had been in place since Russia’s invasion began, and Myrie assured his followers that he would return to the war zone.

‘A quick thank you for all your good wishes over the last 2 weeks, you’ve all been very kind to me and the BBC teams in Ukraine,’ Myrie penned on social media.

‘I’m now heading back to London, but will return. #UkraineRussianWar #ukraine.’

The veteran reporter and Mastemind host’s coverage of the Russia/Ukraine conflict has attracted praise from fellow journalists over the past two weeks.

Piers Morgan was the latest presenter to applaud Myrie’s efforts, writing: ‘Tremendous reporting, Clive. The BBC at its best.’

His colleague Doucet had previously drawn attention to their co-workers on the ground behind the camera in Ukraine as she shared a smiling group photo of them and said that they ‘make all the difference’.

Source: Metro

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