The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed concern regarding the latest development in the process between the Russian government funded media RT, formerly known as Russia Today, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
RT stated that today, 13 November, it “complied” with an order by the Department of Justice to register as a foreign agent under the FARA act. The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a United States law which requires “agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a political or quasi-political capacity” to reveal their relationship with the foreign government, as well as provide their activities and financial details.
The FARA was passed in 1938 in order to combat Nazi propaganda, and in later decades it shifted its focus to political activities such as lobbying. Establishments registered under this act must include a public disclaimer on any information that they send out and must file a version with the Justice Department within 48 hours of transmission.
”We are troubled to hear any foreign outlet – regardless of its political affiliations, is made to go through this precedent of a procedure. Propaganda and disinformation are of serious concern, it is not journalism, but this is not a way to fight against propaganda from a foreigin country” Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General stated.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe.