Russia's media watchdog agency has forced the closure of the Rosbalt news organization because of two YouTube videos containing swear words. Russian journalists are furious, calling it the latest attack on freedom of the press.
Russia's media watchdog agency has forced the closure of a news organization due to "obscene wording." On Thursday, a court accepted the request by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, or Roskomnadzor, and revoked the license of the Rosbalt news agency. The judges justified the decision by claiming Rosbalt had repeatedly used Russian swear words.
The head of the news agency, Natalia Cherkesova, and her employees are allowed to stay on for one month, in which they can appeal to the country's top court. The closure will affect 60 editors and countless freelancers. Rosbalt, which is headquartered in St. Petersburg and is smaller than news agencies like Ria Novosti and Interfax, had become especially popular online.