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Russian Liberal TV Channel Faces Closure Over Recent Media Scandal
6.03.2014 11:44
Russian Liberal TV Channel Faces Closure Over Recent Media Scandal

Natalya Sindeeva, a founder of the Dozhd independent television channel, said on Tuesday that it faces shutdown in weeks after controversy over a poll on the siege of Leningrad in World War II.

      Natalya Sindeyeva, who is also the channel's general director, said that Dozhd had only enough resources to continue operations for one more month due to huge financial difficulties.

      The channel faced serious troubles after many major satellite providers dropped Dozhd from their service packages last month citing the controversy over the poll that appeared briefly on the channel's website in January.

      "Without a budget from advertisements and without money from distribution that we've lost - and we lost 80 percent of our income - we would never survive," Sindeeva told the Russian press on Tuesday.

      Dozhd, which translates as "rain" in Russian, had asked on its website whether the Soviet Union should have surrendered the besieged city of Leningrad – now St. Petersburg – to the Nazis in an attempt to avoid hundreds of thousands of deaths.

      The question was posed on the 70th anniversary of the end of the siege and sparked outrage from some politicians and civic groups, who argued that it was disrespectful to those who had died.

      The channel's management swiftly apologized but satellite and cable companies refused to carry Dozhd, causing major financial losses to the channel in advertising and viewership.

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Dozhd Russian television freedom of speech in Russia freedoms in Russia  

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