A new law designed to require financial disclosure by Russian media outlets in the U.S. will potentially force more transparency in the operations of media companies headquartered in Qatar, including Al Jazeera English. The new law would require Al Jazeera English to file periodic reports with the Federal Communications Commission disclosing some information about the financial and operational control exerted over those broadcasters by parent companies abroad.
Despite this new law, however, the FCC has not received any registrations from either a Qatari or Russian media outlet. Only two broadcasters have registered to date.
Joshua Rosenstein, a lobbying and FARA compliance attorney with the firm Sandler Reiff, called the relatively few registrations “surprising, particularly given the breadth of the statute.”
“To me,” Rosenstein told The Daily Beast, “the dearth of reporting signals a combination of factors: lack of awareness of this small provision stuck into a massive bill; consternation and disagreement by state-run media over mandatory disclosure in general; [and] a lack of understanding of how the two laws might overlap.”
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