It seems the iron curtain is coming back down around Russia. Since the beginning of Russia’s war on Ukraine, not only has Russian President Vladimir Putin acted under cover from the rest of the world but from his own people who are left in a haze of censorship and lies.
Such manipulation of the Russian people has existed ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union but has worsened considerably as Putin gains more to lose in his war on Ukraine.
However, just as a former abused child should not abuse their own child, the various accusations of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian civilians, including rape and summary execution, cannot be excused by Putin’s own mistreatment of his people.
As atrocities are piled up by Russian hands, far more pointed attempts are being made to obscure information detailing the brutality of the war than before as Russia has now banned 29 U.K. journalists from reputable news outlets such as the BBC, the Times and Guardian newspapers, accusing them of providing information biased against Russia.
However, it is now the duty of the rest of the world’s journalists to hold Putin and Russia accountable as Russian journalists are fleeing the country to avoid the repercussions that come with criticizing the government or remaining complicit, even unknowingly, by spewing the misinformation of which the Kremlin approves.
Although NATO countries’ coverage of what is happening to Ukraine at the hands of Russia is enough to set Putin on edge, the coverage is still slowly fading into obscurity as the media, specifically American broadcast media, gets caught up in sensationalism and views, not what is most relevant to the most people. In doing so, the real importance of the story is overshadowed by trying to sell a narrative to viewers instead of providing facts.
For example, gas prices are higher than ever before in the U.S. as a result of the conflict with Russia, yet prominent broadcast news channels, biased both to the left and right, are skewing the story to what their own viewers want to hear, not what is most relevant.
CNN covers President Joe Biden’s speeches and what he is doing to counter inflation. Fox News blames the inflation on Biden.
In reality, there’s not much at all Biden can do except abandon Ukraine completely to get gas prices under control, as the inflation occurred due to America’s dependence on Russian oil.
The news cycle must continue for the sake of providing information, but for the sake of the human rights of Ukrainians, so must the coverage of the war in Ukraine. Instead of following the hottest stories, it is imperative for the media, specifically the media of democratic countries, to set an example by doing serious and meaningful work through journalistic mediums.
Meg Diehl is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Meg by tweeting her at @irlbug.