02:37 GMT06 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - No broadcaster, including Russia’s Sputnik news agency and RT broadcaster, should be blamed for the country’s policy decisions, Ernest Sagaga, the head of human rights and safety department of the IFJ, told Sputnik on Friday, commenting on the US State Department’s remarks on the two Russian media outlets.

    "It would be a bit unfair to blame any media outlet for what its government do or do not do. In a democracy the only role the media can play is to ensure that public is informed about the policy decision and the influence really should come from the public and not from the media," Sagaga said.

    READ MORE: Washington Claims RT, Sputnik Bear Responsibility for Ending Syria Bloodshed

    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) representative added that it was unacceptable to say that the media outlets bore "unique responsibility."

    "No media can do it. It is not up to the media to enact foreign policy decision," Sagaga said.

    On Thursday, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert suggested at a briefing that reporters should ask Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sputnik and RT what they are doing to stop the violence in Syria, adding that they could do more to end the fighting and that they bear a "unique responsibility" for the situation in Syria.

    Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Sputnik news agency and RT broadcaster, on Friday commented on the US State Department's redirection of questions on Syria to Sputnik and RT.

    "Before, when the State Department did not know the answer, they used to say they would check with the office. Now they are looking for answers at RT and Sputnik. Not bad," Simonyan said.

    READ MORE: What Are They Afraid Of? Daily Beast Lies About Sputnik, Contradicts Itself

    Russian media outlets are increasingly targeted for criticism in Europe and beyond. In 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution, claiming that Russia was waging information warfare, financing opposition in European countries and trying to sow discord among the bloc’s member states. It singled out RT, and Sputnik for being instrumental in these perceived attempts.

    Putin responded by saying the resolution proved that the Western democracy was failing, and praised the outlets for doing a good job. He added he hoped that common sense would prevail and Russian media outlets would be able to work abroad without any hurdles.


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    bloodshed, Sputnik, RT, Syria, Russia
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