| 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
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
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...
of Speech and Media Law in Russia