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Russian Media Abroad: Mission or Business?
June 13, 2008 14:15

The 10th World Congress of the Russian Press takes place in Moscow June 10-13. Publishers and journalists from around the world – from Latvia to New Zealand - have gathered to discuss professional matters and development of a united international Russian-speaking space.

The previous nine congresses took place in Russia, the USA, Germany, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Finland, Kazakhstan, and France. The financial support for the Congress is provided by the Federal Press and Mass Communications Agency of Russia. Compared to the 1st World Congress of the Russian Press in 1999, when 100 media organizations from 37 countries attended the event, in 2008 the Congress has brought together nearly a thousand delegates from 70 countries, including state and political figures, business representatives, Director General of UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura, owners of media holdings, TV broadcasting companies, information agencies, editors-in-chief and journalists.

For the first time in the history of the Congress creators of the media Internet-projects participate in the event. “It can be considered as one of the spirits of the times. Internet-media, both in Russia and abroad, have been developing very progressively”, as the Congress organizers clarify.

 The Congress traditionally provides not only cultural, but also educational, informational, and scientific exchange between the Russian language speakers. In the centre of the Congress agenda are problems of development and establishment of the Russian media in different countries of the world, their protection and support, journalists` cooperation for objective highlighting the events in Russia and abroad. Another central topic for discussion at the Congress is the Russian press and problems of extremism, fascism and xenophobia. Besides, the Congress participants planned to exchange opinions on the current state of the Russian media and decide: the Russian press abroad – a mission or business?

A common opinion amongst the media professionals is that at the moment the Russian media often cannot boast high quality and need to improve their level. Another problem is that many journalists living and working abroad do not always have an adequate idea about the event happening in Russia. The Congress can give them a correct idea on this point.

At the moment the audience of the Russian-speaking media is about 300 million people in 80 countries of the world. The Russian-speaking media have a large audience in Israel, the USA, Canada, Germany, France, and in a number of the EU states. Recently one of the Russian state TV channels has started free broadcasting in Serbia. As for the Russian media in the CIS countries, after the USSR collapse they encountered pressing in some ex-Soviet republics and the problem still exists here and there. Russian journalists come upon some difficulties in Ukraine and the Baltic states, but on the whole the Russian language has not lost the status an international communication language on the territory of the former USSR.


Tags: Russian media     

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