The Biggest Brother


Yesterday, December the 9th, an odd decree appeared on the Russian presidential website. The decree is entitled “On certain measures to raise the effectiveness of the operations of state-owned mass media". Sounds good. But in a few lines undersigned by the president of the Russian Federation there is the quintessence of the Vladimir Putin’s view on mass media.

Yesterday, December the 9th, an odd decree appeared on the Russian presidential website. The decree is entitled “On certain measures to raise the effectiveness of the operations of state-owned mass media”. Sounds good. But in a few lines undersigned by the president of the Russian Federation there is the quintessence of the Vladimir Putin’s view on mass media.

 

Russia today

The decree dissolves the Ria Novosti news agency with one stroke of the pen, replacing it with new state-owned media corporation called Rossiya Sevodnya. The new entity – which translated sounds like Russia Today, but seems to be separate from the Kremlin-financed English-language television channel with the same name – will be responsible of providing information abroad on “Russian state policy and public life”, as the decree says.

The Head of Presidential Administration, Sergei Ivanov, said that the decision has been taken to assure “the more rational use of budget money allotted to state-run information resources and to improve the efficiency of operations of the state-run media”, but if to you the move looks like a shove to consolidate the control over state media resources and to take a pro-active approach in shaping Russia’s image abroad, Ivanov himself gave a clear – though between the lines – answer: “Russia is holding an independent policy and unwaveringly protects its national interests. It is not easy to explain that to the world, but it can and must be done. We have achieved certain successes in this field and, on the other hand, have had some problems”. Got the message?

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