ARD and ZDF will report again from their studios in Moscow in the coming days, according to a coordinated statement from both broadcasters. Reporting was temporarily suspended last weekend to examine the consequences of Russia’s new media law, which criminalises, among other things, false reporting from the Russian government’s perspective about the Russian military and the war in Ukraine.
“On the basis of the review, ARD and ZDF, also in consultation with the EBU partners, decided to resume reporting from the studios in Moscow on the political, economic and social situation in Russia, but to resume reporting on the military situation in Ukraine from other locations of the two public broadcasters,” it continues.
Consequences of civil society
The Moscow correspondents of ARD and ZDF will report on the decisions of the Russian leadership, but also on the reactions of civil society, for example, the protests against the war, the reactions of the Russian elite or the concrete effects of the sanctions on everyday life of Russians. the citizens. The special conditions of reporting from Russia would be made transparent. However, ARD and ZDF reserve the right to re-evaluate the situation at any time.
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After the draconian new media law came into effect, there were “signs” from the Russian side that a Western broadcaster presence in Russia was still desired, editor-in-chief Peter Frey told a meeting of Russia’s television council. ZDF on Friday. . For example, a long-time request for accreditation was suddenly approved. The broadcaster also sought the advice of Russian lawyers.
Two colleagues who had flown should now return. “Of course we won’t put a muzzle on them,” Frey explained. However, a division of labor is planned for the next period. Ukrainian and German correspondents were to report on immediate developments in the combat zone. The Moscow study will provide reports on the positions of the Russian government and people and the impact of sanctions.
Pause in the reporting of no “sanction”
ZDF director Thomas Bellut explained at the television council that the suspension of reporting from Moscow was not a “sanction” by ZDF. The decision was made solely for security reasons. After the start of the war, Russia imposed substantial sanctions for allegedly false reports about the “special military operation” in Ukraine. What is happening in Russia should not be described as a war or an invasion.
At the moment, ZDF is not planning its own reporting from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, so as not to endanger its own journalists. The station will remain in the western Ukrainian cities of Khmelnyzkyj (Chmelnizki) and Lviv (Lemberg). (with epd)