Russian government’s media agency launches Chinese service

World Today

The Russian government has launched a number of new media operations in recent months. One of the latest is Sputnik, a global media agency that will feature a Chinese service. Sputnik, which was also the name of the world’s first satellite, is designed to add to the Kremlin’s information policy. CCTV America’s Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.

Russian government's media agency launches Chinese service

The Russian government has launched a number of new media operations in recent months. One of the latest is Sputnik, a global media agency that will feature a Chinese service. Sputnik, which was also the name of the world's first satellite, is designed to add to the Kremlin's information policy. CCTV America’s Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.

Sputnik is the latest edition to a Russian state media operation that includes news agencies, websites, radio and television stations. There are only a handful of staff at Sputnik’s fledgling Chinese edition, but there are hundreds more staff throughout this media complex, and Sputnik has dozens of bureaus across the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the aim of the operations is to challenge what he calls the “Anglo-Saxon monopoly” on global news. In December 2013, the foreign language operations of the state RIA Novosti news service were taken over by Rossiya Sevodnya.

“Sputnik has two sources of financing – it’s not a secret that first and foremost, it’s government financing and the second source of financing is our products that we sell to our subscribers,” Sergei Kotchekov, deputy editor of Rossiya Sogodnya said.

There have been accusations that Russian state media has a lack of editorial balance and that the Kremlin has been cracking down independent journalism.

“There is enormous pressure on those remaining in independent media, be it newspapers, websites or radio,” Kirill Koroteev, a lawyer said.

Sputnik says it aims to provide news in 30 different languages, though it hasn’t discussed the cost of the operation.