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TVS television channel, May 16, 2003

Russian journalists pessimistic about media developments in the country

Anchor: Today journalists discussed some issues that Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned in his annual address. A congress of the Union of Journalists opened in Moscow today.

Correspondent: Today the Union of Russian Journalists tried to determine the main guidelines for its work of the next several years. Before the coming parliamentary election journalists are extremely concerned about protection of their interests.

The vulnerability of journalists as well as of other owners of media agencies that critcise the authorities was identified as the main problem at the congress today.

Addressing the meeting, State Duma Speaker Gennadi Seleznyov also spoke about the threat to freedom of speech. In his opinion, however, the oligarchs present the threat rather than the authorities.

He said that amendments to the media law cannot violate the rights of journalists...

Despite the agenda all speeches focused in one way or another on that topical Russian issue - the media and power. None of the speakers sounded optimistic.

Journalist Andrei Cherkizov: I hope that one day there will be a law in my country that will ban government agencies from establishing any kind of media agencies, press agencies as well as electronic and web media.


President of Centre TV, Oleg Poptsov, captioned as journalist: As a rule those ideas that can unite people do not come up at a funeral. I would not like the leadership of the union to lose its creative energy that can unite people around something...

Correspondent: Judging from the remarks in the audience and discussions in the foyer it would appear that the delegates did not have a united view on who is to blame and what should be done. Some consider the amendments to the media law as pressure on the press, while others thought that journalists themselves should be blamed for everything, for digging for dirt and the material published to an order.

Journalist Alexander Minkin: Thousands and thousands of journalists are called journalists by mistake. They are spin-doctors. It is the same difference as the one between the mother of a family and a prostitute. It is a totally different profession...


See also:

Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia

TVS television channel, May 16, 2003

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