Putin signed the decree about liquidation of RIA Novosti and creation of the international news agency "Russia Today" on its basis. New structure will be headed by the known TV reporter Dmitry Kiselyov. "Russia Today" will inherit property including foreign one from RIA Novosti. They say in the Kremlin that “covering of the state policy of Russia and public life in the country abroad" will be the main activity of new Federal Unitary Enterprise".
"Restoration of the fair attitude to Russia as to the important country of the world with good intentions is mission of new structure which I should head," — RIA Novosti quotes Kiselyov.
Strictly speaking Soviet Information Bureau was once created for the same purpose, then it became News Agency “Novosti” - direct predecessor of RIA Novosti.
Style of RIA Novosti was rather free as far as it is possible for the state organization in Russia. It even was more journalistic, than bureaucratic, that at present is appropriate not to all non-state mass media. Management of RIA invited to its projects eminent journalists who lost work, gave opportunities to realize to people far from apologetics of political system to realize themselves. Probably, these circumstances also played certain role at determining of a new deal in the system of information service of the state interests. As a whole, the change occurred quite suits the logic of political and public transformations, they more and more resemble mobilization character.
The editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti Svetlana Mironyuk who has learned about dismissal from mass media met employees on Monday to inform about the details of the forthcoming liquidation of the agency and destiny of projects.
The majority of projects focused on the Russian audience doesn't fit into configuration of new structure which will be engaged in work for foreign audience, Mironyuk noted. According to her, most likely, agency RAPSI (Russian Agency on Law and Juridical Information) whereas press center of RIA Novosti will remain with high probability. The editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti added that management of RIA Novosti considers different variants for closed projects — to find interested persons or at least to employ people who lost work. She also reported that she spoke about it with colleagues from ITAR-TASS and RBC.
Mironyuk emphasized that none of the staff of liquidated agency will leave without salary, monetary compensation and all payments stipulated in the law. According to her, from this point of view elimination is the best form of reorganization as the state is obliged to provide employees with all payments.
Svetlana Mironyuk also said that management of the liquidated agency would try to keep part of the projects and brands created in the structure of RIA Novosti. "It is silly to close everything and to throw out even if it is written so in the decree. For 10 years the state spent nearly $1 billion on it. In order we made the best mass media in the country with 48 brands, with hot professional teams," — she told.
According to her, within next three months the structure under the name RIA Novosti which existed 72 years "will be liquidated, that is will be destroyed". Special liquidating commission which should deal with financial and economic obligations will be engaged in this process. The editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti noted that she wouldn’t discuss "either expediency, or political background; either results, or consequences" of the decision on liquidation of the agency.
From editorial board: Well, let’s discuss it.
Really, production of News Agency “Novosti” practically wasn't actual within the country, editions worked with teletype tape of Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union which quality was such that it was considered bad manners to publish it. As to the production of the news agency “Novosti”, there’s an impression that its product in the foreign information market was even less demanded, nevertheless Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union issued let boring, but necessary newspaper. News Agency “Novosti” existed, apparently, to calm of responsible heads, no efficiency was needed from it, or it was required in some other sphere.
Post-Soviet time gave RIA Novosti new breath, it was the most demanded of the state mass media in the domestic information market. At what expense? Probably due to talent and integrity, but also at the expense of our money, Svetlana Mironyuk mentions billion. Money was also wasted for nothing, after all this is "wrong" money which was not distributed, but went on business. They would have better stolen it...
Frankly speaking I should be happy that such notable gap which they will hardly manage to patch soon was formed in the state media mechanism. Though as intelligent in the past person I nevertheless feel pity for someone else’s high-quality work which was thrown out of the window. Though it is far not the first case, creation of state corporations, for example, destroyed the competition in branches: only head enterprise remains, while all other, "integrated" - die. It, of course, affects quality of the main production, state corporations create and produce mainly shit. It’s strange that they in allegedly "non-market" economy of the USSR understand the need of competition and supported it, from competition between "Sukhoi" and "MiG", between "Energy" and "Star" to competition between KGB and GRU. The least effective of all monopolisms is formed in market through Russian Federation.
Well, media community is not an exception. What’s the reason to have ITAR-TASS and RIA Novosti, if one is more than enough?
It’s will be also lesson to "statesmen", only in authoritative state one can be punished not for bad work, but for too good.
ánatoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk