Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democratic values. Enshrined in the US constitution and held to be a necessary prerequisite of a functioning democracy throughout the West, few would question the statement that a free media makes a free mind. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that a war is being waged on this freedom in countries where democratic values are held in low regard.
The expulsion of Sarah Rainsford, the BBC’s Moscow correspondent, is an example of authoritarian countries’ distaste for press freedom in action. Rainsford’s visa will not be renewed by Russia and will therefore expire at the end of August, in a move which Moscow claims is a retaliation for the UK’s refusal to grant visas to Russian journalists.