Britain and Canada are leading a push to secure more protections for journalists, saying a free press “protects society from the abuse of power.”
U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland convened a two-day conference starting Wednesday in London with politicians, officials, activists and journalists from more than 100 countries — though two Russian news outlets have been banned.
The British government said Sputnik and RT are barred because of “their active role in spreading disinformation.”
Russian state-owned RT was censured last year by Britain’s broadcast regulator for breaking U.K. impartiality rules in its coverage of the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England.
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, said: “It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media.”