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Thread: Freedom of the Press in Russia

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    Freedom of the Press in Russia

    I keep coming across articles that are explicitly saying... or hinting... that there is not a lot of freedom of the press in Russia right now.. Supposedly the result of the polices of the "United Russia" party.

    I wanted to hear what you think about this.

    The question is: Is it WORSE in Russia than other places.. If so, in what way is it worse?

    If you think there is a problem - what do you think the solution is?

    If you don't think there is a problem - why do you think Western press keeps suggesting that there is one...?

    What's the freedom of press like in Russia compared with in the Ukraine. Belarus or other ex-USSR countries (i.e. Kazakhstan)? Or even compared with Germany, UK etc.


    What role does the internet play in all this?

  2. #2
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    I don't think it's all that bad in Russia but yes, we have some serious issues here about it.
    Technically, you can publish anything you want in Russia and all formalities are met. Nobody would press you and you wouldn't discover party-vans outside your house if you say something bad about higher state officials.

    But out mass media system is designed in such a way that nobody would hear what you say either. Central press (even commercial issues) that have large auditorium have what is called 'an editorial policy'. Nobody would say that they wouldn't print your article due to political reasons, they would question your professionalism or your sources of information instead.
    The same thing with TV. Technically you can even find a station that would agree to broadcast your program but it will be at 4 a.m. on Monday. There's no censorship, nobody simply hears you.

    Media is spinned by money. If you are rich you behave. You don't need censorship in this system. Everything is all right just as it is and all the formalities about freedom of speech are satisfied.
    Besides, the Russians simply do not believe politicians and never will. Nobody in Russia would trust government or media. This is a perfect situation. Media is for entertainment. No sane person would seek the facts in press
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  3. #3
    Hanna
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Thanks, that's what I thought. The articles I come across about this are never very explicit. They strongly hint at "restrictions", "censorship", "lack of free press" etc. But they never give any CONCRETE examples.

    I guess it's the same scenario as everywhere - perhaps just a bit more noticeable in Russia

    I agree with your general view on the media. When I grew up in Sweden, the story was that "our press if 'perfect', because it's partly private, partly state financed...." Of course, this lead to all papers having more or less the same rather conformist views. When I first moved to the UK I thought it was a real buzz to choose with political colour (within reason) you wanted on your news. If I buy the Telegraph I know exactly which angle they report from. Likewise if I buy The Guardian it approaches most stories from a different angle.

    I once read that (surprisingly!) the last days of the USSR was one of the freest times EVER for press anywhere: No commercial interests owned the media and state censorship was lifted. So for a couple of years it was a real free-for-all... Not sure how true this really is though - No doubt it is a simplification of the real circumstances.

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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    There is a very thin difference between 'the freest time ever for press' and 'total informational chaos'. When you hear contradicting things from two equally trusted sources you don't believe either message. Nobody checked the facts then (they still don't sometimes). My approach is simple - I hear some buzz from the media and start digging for facts myself (using an indirect search while deliberately ignoring the keywords that are hammered into your brain by the media sometimes discovers FACTS that speak of the opposite things).

    In order to understand how modern media works I suggest you familiarize yourself with at least these two authors:
    * Edward Bernays
    * Joseph Goebbels

    Many things will click together.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    I don't think freedom of press is the issue. The public is sick and tied of politicans of any kind, including the opposition. At least the situation is far from the Soviet one, whatever the Western press claims.
    Please correct my English

  6. #6
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Maybe this will help you:

    2005

    According to the inspection[18] conducted by the Audit Chamber of Russia and initiated by MP Alexander Lebedev, in 2005 the channel had the following shareholders structure and board of directors:

    * Rosimushchestvo – 38.9 %
    * ORT Bank Consortium – 24%
    * RastrKom 2002 – 14%
    * EberLink – 11%
    * ITAR TASS – 9.1 %
    * TTTs – 3%

    Alexey Gromov (Chairman of the Board of Directors, Press Secretary of President Vladimir Putin)
    Konstantin Ernst (Director General of the Channel One)
    Alexander Dzasokhov (then President of North Ossetia-Alania)
    Galina Karelova (Chairman of Russia's Social Insurance Fund)
    Mikhail Lesin (Adviser to President Vladimir Putin, former Mass Media Minister)
    Nikita Mikhalkov (President of Russia's Cinematographers Union)
    Mikhail Piotrovsky (Director of the State Hermitage Museum)
    Ilya Reznik (poet, composer)
    Alexander Chaikovsky (Chairman of the Composition Department of Moscow Conservatory)
    Mikhail Shvydkoi (Chief of the Federal Agency of Culture and Cinematography, former Culture Minister of Russia)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_One_%28Russia%29

    Many journalist lost their jobs because they were not soft enough on Putin and many more voluntarily quit or adapted to "seeing things Putin's way.

    I found that generally the attitude of tv, newspapers, and political talk shows were biased against the West but particularly the USA. Even in Russian equivalent of History shows on TV have little "digs' against the USA. Putin routinely blamed the USA for any opposition to him on the TV news and in print. Street protest in St Petersburg were "played down" in the St Petersburg newspapers, and "influence from USA" was blamed. In order to keep Protesters away they are told that they can't protest in the main ares that pro Putin Rally's could be held and they are relegated to the back streets. The international committee that watches world elections left Russia rather than wait anymore to watch Medvedev's winning election, saying that it is so corrupt that they need not see anything further.

    BUT, It is not that much different in the USA. Obama owns the media in the USA. Not openly, but because the media in the USA are simply as corrupt as Obama. Also, when the people protest against Obama in the USA, which they do frequently, the US Media does not cover it or they say that only a few people were Protesting when their were many, and they call the protesters names and ridicule them. Very much like Putin did!

    Britain also has a very biased Media even worse than in the USA!
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    In order to understand how modern media works I suggest you familiarize yourself with at least these two authors:
    * Edward Bernays
    * Joseph Goebbels

    Many things will click together.
    Thank you for the tip! Obviously I know of Goebbels but it would never have occurred to me to read anything by him.. But I'll check it.

    Bernays sounded vagueley familiar (I did a course on media/agitprop at uni) but I did not remember anything, so I checked it in Wiki.

    He sounds like a rather greasy person. Clearly he made some groundbreaking "discoveries" about how to influence people. But then he chose to use them to sell junk products that people don't need... He should made academic use of it, I think, or used it for some kind of beneficial cause. Well, that's just the way I feel about it.

    It turns out that the old Beeb (BBC) has made a three-part documentary on him, which is available for download. I will watch that when I feel inspired. If I like it i'll get the book.

    Thanks again .. I do want to learn more about this, actually.

  8. #8
    Hanna
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    @DDT - Interesting info...
    But you can't rule out that some of the criticism that you see in Russian press against the US might be well founded. The US does in fact meddle a lot in the internal affairs other countries.

    I can't read Russian very well, so I haven't been reading Russian media and therefore don't know exactly what you are talking about. However the phenomenon in general is not news to me.

    I imagine Russian press simply pick up on what they see (or think they see) in terms of meddling, and then blow it up a bit more than most small European countries would dare/ want to do.

  9. #9
    DDT
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Johanna, the humanitarians that watched Medvedebs election are not biased towards USA. They did walk out of Russia over this! I have Russians friends who agree with what i wrote about media bias there, though I am sure that many more will disagree too. Most people just don't pay that close attention and would rather watch soccer.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

  10. #10
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Hmmm... It's really difficult to compare but I basically think Russia's media has roughly the same degree of freedom as anywhere else... Which is not to say that the authors of articles or tv-programmes are unbiased -- because it's not humanly possible to be completely unbiased. We do have two government-controlled major tv channels but apart from them there are about 15 others which now probably broadcast in almost every home (it's not the same as cable tv for which you have to pay extra).

    My tv set has actually stopped showing Channel One properly long ago. And the Russia Channel has recently worsened too in terms of image quality. Which is a mystery to me but I suppose it has to do with the tv antenna. Anyway, we do nothing to fix it because there are lots of other channels and I personally don't watch tv at all. I'll only sometimes watch the "Culture Channel" and the "Fifth" St.Petersburg Channel -- they are both excellent.

    You can definitely see how the state influences Channel One and Channel Russia. For example, they now seem to have a "nothing foreign" policy. In the 1990s they used to show a lot of Brazilian, Mexican and Venezualan soaps -- now everything is swamped by Russian soaps which I for the most part detest -- not all of them but most. It's probably understandable -- Russian tv is developing and Russian actors need jobs... Well, it's probably just my personal gripe that they don't show the best BBC period dramas, like "North and South" and "Pride and Prejudice" and so on. Then again, plenty of other channels DO show those things.

    Besides television there are lots of papers of various political leanings, various political parties, etc. I sort of trust "Izvestia" -- they seem to have a moderate position. Sometimes I read "Literaturnaya Gazeta" (Literature Newspaper) which prints articles on political issues as well but it can be a bit boring sometimes. Here's their website who's interested: http://lgz.ru/.
    Both these papers have similar views on such issues like the demolishion of the war memorial in Georgia. Does it mean they're pro-Putin? I'm sure there are a lot of papers and magazines out there with a 180 opposite pov. I'm not sure there aren't some neo-nazi papers which would be better not just censored but closed entirely. See, you can't do away with censorship completely.

    And then of course there's the Internet.

    I found that generally the attitude of tv, newspapers, and political talk shows were biased against the West but particularly the USA. Even in Russian equivalent of History shows on TV have little "digs' against the USA. Putin routinely blamed the USA for any opposition to him on the TV news and in print. Street protest in St Petersburg were "played down" in the St Petersburg newspapers, and "influence from USA" was blamed. In order to keep Protesters away they are told that they can't protest in the main ares that pro Putin Rally's could be held and they are relegated to the back streets. The international committee that watches world elections left Russia rather than wait anymore to watch Medvedev's winning election, saying that it is so corrupt that they need not see anything further.

    BUT, It is not that much different in the USA. Obama owns the media in the USA. Not openly, but because the media in the USA are simply as corrupt as Obama. Also, when the people protest against Obama in the USA, which they do frequently, the US Media does not cover it or they say that only a few people were Protesting when their were many, and they call the protesters names and ridicule them. Very much like Putin did!

    Britain also has a very biased Media even worse than in the USA!
    That's right. If Russian media may sometimes sound anti-American there's enough anti-Russian propaganda in US papers as well. I'm now throwing away some paper trash as part of the new year clearing process but I'm looking throuhg it first. I've come across some articles from the time of the South Ossetian conflict -- honestly, the only balanced article was from the "Guardian." The US sources on the contrary seem to revel in giving Russia vivid epithetes: bellicose, belligerent, aggressive... How do you like this one from "The New York Times" for example:

    "What is striking, though, is the growing consensus about Russian behavior. The United Nations, the European Union and NATO have all sided with Georgia in the disputes over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Mr. Saakashvili was deeply disappointed when NATO declined in early April to put Georgia and Ukraine on the path to membership, but he says that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, explained to him that while the Germans “don’t want to be pushed” on NATO, they might offer their support later this year. Almost as satisfying to Mr. Saakashvili was his discovery that Ms. Merkel “gets it” about Russia — “because she knows Russia from her own experience.”
    ...
    People of all political persuasion now seem to get it about Russia."
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/we...gewanted=print

    Great.
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  11. #11
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    BUT, It is not that much different in the USA. Obama owns the media in the USA. Not openly, but because the media in the USA are simply as corrupt as Obama. Also, when the people protest against Obama in the USA, which they do frequently, the US Media does not cover it or they say that only a few people were Protesting when their were many, and they call the protesters names and ridicule them. Very much like Putin did!

    I disagree with that. Obama does own the "main stream media" which is now being called the "lame stream media" because of their obvious political slant. The Fox news channel did cover the tea parties. In my opinion there are fair sources for news:

    The fox news channel is great and recently the White House were making bad comments about two OPINION shows.
    Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck. I like Glenn Becks show a lot.

    www.foxnews.com
    www.drudgereport.com
    www.americanthinker.com
    www.canadafreepress.com
    http://www.newsbusters.org/

    The truth is out there and it's a shame the organizations that claim to be fair are anything but. I do not waste my time with any of these slanted organizations:

    NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, Washington Post.

    Recently there was a piece on www.foxnews.com about the biggest stories the lame stream media missed last year. I cannot find it but it is very interesting what was missed.

    Scott

  12. #12
    Hanna
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Fortheeether.... so what you are saying is:

    You like right-wing, strongly Republican media and you think everything else is "slanted". You like media that pushes the strongly pro-American, agenda that looks at the rest of the world as a playing field where your country has to make sure that the other countries are following your rules.

    Plus you like the same media that have a real vendetta against France for some completely incomprehensible reason; which also thinks that Russia is a threat to the US, and that nuclear weapons should remain pointed at us in Europe and in Russia... And which supports wars in the Middle East and can't wait for the last remaining members of the "Axis of Evil" to go the same way as Iraq and Afghanistan.

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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Fortheeether.... so what you are saying is:

    You like right-wing, strongly Republican media and you think everything else is "slanted". You like media that pushes the strongly pro-American, agenda that looks at the rest of the world as a playing field where your country has to make sure that the other countries are following your rules.

    Plus you like the same media that have a real vendetta against France for some completely incomprehensible reason; which also thinks that Russia is a threat to the US, and that nuclear weapons should remain pointed at us in Europe and in Russia... And which supports wars in the Middle East and can't wait for the last remaining members of the "Axis of Evil" to go the same way as Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Johanna,
    Do you have examples of what you are saying? The news I read/watch does not mention anything that you said. Do you read/watch any of the news sources I listed? Long back you gave your opinion about Fox News:

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17367&p=216283&hilit=fox+news# p216283

    I do watch Fox and also get my news from other sources. I rarely see anything in the news about France so I don't know where you got that one from. Are Russia's nukes still pointed at the USA? Are USA's nukes still pointed at Russia? I doubt one side will not point them at the other if the other does not also point them away.

    Scott

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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether
    BUT, It is not that much different in the USA. Obama owns the media in the USA. Not openly, but because the media in the USA are simply as corrupt as Obama. Also, when the people protest against Obama in the USA, which they do frequently, the US Media does not cover it or they say that only a few people were Protesting when their were many, and they call the protesters names and ridicule them. Very much like Putin did!

    I disagree with that. Obama does own the "main stream media" which is now being called the "lame stream media" because of their obvious political slant. The Fox news channel did cover the tea parties. In my opinion there are fair sources for news:

    The fox news channel is great and recently the White House were making bad comments about two OPINION shows.
    Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck. I like Glenn Becks show a lot.

    http://www.foxnews.com
    http://www.drudgereport.com
    http://www.americanthinker.com
    http://www.canadafreepress.com
    http://www.newsbusters.org/

    The truth is out there and it's a shame the organizations that claim to be fair are anything but. I do not waste my time with any of these slanted organizations:

    NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, Washington Post.

    Recently there was a piece on http://www.foxnews.com about the biggest stories the lame stream media missed last year. I cannot find it but it is very interesting what was missed.

    Scott
    I found the story about the things that the lame stream media missed:

    http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/politi ... dia-missed

    They should be ashamed of themselves.

    Scott

  15. #15
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Я полностью согласен с Рамилем. Неужели в Англии можно ЛЮБУЮ информацию разместить в газетах или на TV? Все равно что-то вырежут или украсят

  16. #16
    heartfelty
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Inasmuch as I am now a resident of Canada where freedom of speech reigns, a socialist, closet communist that I am used to pay lip service to the organs of the bourgoisie like the Armed Forces of the Philippines because in the Philippines one cannot rule out disappearances through kidnapping or murder. But since I am now on safe ground, I now go on identifying myself as a communist.

    With regards to Russia, we cannot rule out zealous supporters of Putin who expect to find Putin condescending if the supporter goes out of his way and murders a critic. To make it short, "what do you expect of a president when he is terrrorized to submit himself condescendingly. I see that from such angle. Putin was once a communist. He might still be one but for purposes of convenience does not want to show it. Well anyway, I am as "wise as a serpent not seeking death". I don't hit Putin knowing that there are 'zealous and sadistic supporters out there preying on innocents.' If ever I intend to criticize him, I do it constructively. That is the true mark of a critic. You don't jump into conclusion that the 'president is evil when you don't even examine yourself if you are one'

  17. #17
    DDT
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    Re: Freedom of the Press in Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Fortheeether.... so what you are saying is:

    You like right-wing, strongly Republican media and you think everything else is "slanted". You like media that pushes the strongly pro-American, agenda that looks at the rest of the world as a playing field where your country has to make sure that the other countries are following your rules.

    Plus you like the same media that have a real vendetta against France for some completely incomprehensible reason; which also thinks that Russia is a threat to the US, and that nuclear weapons should remain pointed at us in Europe and in Russia... And which supports wars in the Middle East and can't wait for the last remaining members of the "Axis of Evil" to go the same way as Iraq and Afghanistan.
    How many Glenn Beck shows have you actually watched? I'll bet not even one whole hour! It is highly doubtful that you have even the slightest clue as to what Beck is or says. Try watching for two weeks and you will soon see the myths that you have held onto since childhood fade away. Beck is not a Republican by ANY means! You can's even see how far to the Left you have been warped by all that surrounds you. On the other hand it is easy for those of us on the Right to see what the Left is saying......because it is everywhere and can not be avoided. You have the unbalanced views...not Fortheether!
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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