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Russia27 January 2003

TV chief forced to resign

Reporters Without Borders expressed fears today that the removal of Russian-American businessman Boris Jordan from the running of the country’s nationwide NTV television network would be a new setback to press freedom in Russia.

Jordan was fired on 17 January as head of Gazprom Media, part of the state natural gas company which owns NTV, for supposedly disagreeing about the group’s future growth. He announced on 21 January that he would soon also resign as director-general of NTV.

Reporters Without Borders said that despite Jordan’s part in the government’s takeover in 2001 of the country’s main independent broadcasting media, his enforced resignation looked like a further blow to freedom of expression since under him NTV had been more independent in news reporting than other state-owned media.

President Vladimir Putin criticised NTV for its coverage of the seizure by Chechen rebels of a Moscow theatre last October after the station broadcast an interview with the leader of the commandos

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