Late last month Yakutsk Vechernyy, a small newspaper in Siberia, added a disclaimer to its TV listings. "Be careful!" it read. "News programs on TV will often present distorted and falsified information. Most frequently this is seen on NTV and TV Rossiya."
Yakutsk Vechernyy published the disclaimer in response to the attack, and now other independent papers in Russia are publishing it as well. "This is a story about journalistic solidarity," Valeriy Bezpyatykh, editor of Gorodskie Vesti, a weekly paper in the town of Revda, told BuzzFeed News.
The campaign is spreading on social media in Russia, with many expressing support for the papers. This woman in Moscow said the Siberian paper made "a brave, risky, and honest move."
The campaign also spawned a mascot in the form of Pinocchio delivering a report for NTV.
The Russian Union of Journalists has come out against the disclaimer. "It’s sad to see that the newspaper printed such a statement addressed to their colleagues from TV," a statement said. "All media should be guided by ethical principles and norms and never descend into insulting others."
NTV's response has been to publish a disclaimer of its own. The channel's program listing carries a warning that regional papers can spread lies and propaganda — and that their TV schedules may be inaccurate, too.
Craig Silverman is Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
Contact Craig Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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