Russian TV Takeover Prompts National Press Club Protest; NPC President Ryan Sends Letter to Russian Ambassador

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from National Press Club

    WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- The
 following is the text of a letter sent to Russian Ambassador to the United
 States, Yuri Ushakov by National Press Club President, Richard Ryan:
 
     His Excellency Yuri V. Ushakov
     Embassy of the Russian Federation
     2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
     Washington, DC  20007
 
     Your Excellency,
 
     The National Press Club is deeply disturbed by the recent takeover of the
 once-independent Russian television station NTV by the state-dominated natural
 gas monopoly Gazprom, and by official actions against NTV-affiliated Segodnya
 newspaper and Itogi news magazine.
     Gazprom seized control of NTV last week in what the network and its
 supporters say was a Kremlin-orchestrated assault on critical media.  NTV
 workers ceded control to the gas company on April 14 after resisting for 11
 days.  Journalists opposed to Gazprom's takeover were barred from the
 station's studios and fired.  The Press Club is also troubled by reports of
 Segodnya's disappearance from newsstands and Itogi's staff being barred from
 the magazine's editorial offices.
     The Press Club believes that the assault on these media outlets is an
 effort to silence critics of the Russian government by clamping down on the
 country's only independent national television station and establishing
 complete control over the country's airwaves.  The financial and editorial
 crackdown on both the broadcast and print media threatens Russia's democracy,
 which we believe cannot survive without a press free from government controls.
     As an organization of nearly 4,500 journalists, public information
 officers and regular news sources in Washington, D.C., and around the globe,
 the National Press Club asks you to urge His Excellency Vladimir V. Putin to
 allow independent media to report the news freely without government controls.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14655711
 
 

SOURCE National Press Club
    WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- The
 following is the text of a letter sent to Russian Ambassador to the United
 States, Yuri Ushakov by National Press Club President, Richard Ryan:
 
     His Excellency Yuri V. Ushakov
     Embassy of the Russian Federation
     2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
     Washington, DC  20007
 
     Your Excellency,
 
     The National Press Club is deeply disturbed by the recent takeover of the
 once-independent Russian television station NTV by the state-dominated natural
 gas monopoly Gazprom, and by official actions against NTV-affiliated Segodnya
 newspaper and Itogi news magazine.
     Gazprom seized control of NTV last week in what the network and its
 supporters say was a Kremlin-orchestrated assault on critical media.  NTV
 workers ceded control to the gas company on April 14 after resisting for 11
 days.  Journalists opposed to Gazprom's takeover were barred from the
 station's studios and fired.  The Press Club is also troubled by reports of
 Segodnya's disappearance from newsstands and Itogi's staff being barred from
 the magazine's editorial offices.
     The Press Club believes that the assault on these media outlets is an
 effort to silence critics of the Russian government by clamping down on the
 country's only independent national television station and establishing
 complete control over the country's airwaves.  The financial and editorial
 crackdown on both the broadcast and print media threatens Russia's democracy,
 which we believe cannot survive without a press free from government controls.
     As an organization of nearly 4,500 journalists, public information
 officers and regular news sources in Washington, D.C., and around the globe,
 the National Press Club asks you to urge His Excellency Vladimir V. Putin to
 allow independent media to report the news freely without government controls.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14655711
 
 SOURCE  National Press Club