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Russian President Vladimir Putin, flanked by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, right, visits the pipe laying vessel Pioneering Spirit in the Black Sea near Anapa, Russia, Friday, June 23, 2017. The president has inspected the work on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project. (Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Russia’s Putin: Top goal for journalists is ‘do not offend’

Russian President Vladimir Putin, flanked by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, right, visits the pipe laying vessel Pioneering Spirit in the Black Sea near Anapa, Russia, Friday, June 23, 2017. The president has inspected the work on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project. (Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says the most important principle for journalists is to avoid upsetting those featured in their articles and television broadcasts.

Journalists should ensure their work “won’t be offensive to those about whom they do their reports,” Putin said Saturday, according to the TASS news agency.

The Russian leader made the comments while talking to a child interested in working in journalism at a summer camp in Crimea, the southern Ukrainian region that Russia annexed in 2014.

The number of independent media outlets in Russia has fallen drastically under Putin and there have been several murders of high-profile journalists.

The journalists’ group Reporters Without Borders placed Russia 148th in its ranking of world press freedoms published this year.

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