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Moscow To Follow The Examples Set By Britons And Americans: 24-Hour English-Language Russian News Satellite TV Will Start Worldwide Broadcasts In Late Summer

For the first time since TV has been introduced in the Soviet Union in 1932 Russia has announced its preparations to begin English-language TV news broadcasting targeting the foreign viewers across the globe.


As reported by Russian Information Agency Novosti on Wednesday, the new 24-hour news channel Russia Today TV (RTTV) will be broadcast in Russia, Europe, the USA, the former Soviet republics and a number of Asian countries.


As per RIA Novosti dispatch the new satellite channel will focus on most important global events, reflecting Russia's viewpoint, as well as inform the foreign audience about the variety of aspects of life in Russia


To prevent foreign criticism of biased reporting in broadcasts from Moscow it was announced that the editorial policies of RTTV will be overseen by an independent Public Council which will be made up of prominent Russian and foreign personalities: public figures, journalists, artists, scientists as well as representatives of the business community. 


A well-positioned source in Moscow close to the Russian RTR TV Channel 2 told PRGroup that the prep work is being coordinated by RIA Novosti together with Mikhail Lesin, former minister of mass communications, now serving as the media-relations advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin and Putins press-secretary Alexei Gromov. The 26-year old former Kremlin pool RTR Channel-2 reporter Margarita Simonyan has been appointed to the position of RTTV editor-in-chief. Her first two deputies are well-known Russian TV personalities with reporters backgrounds.


Another Russian official, speaking with the PRGroup on condition of anonymity, has estimated the initial project financing at about $11 million. They will not have any financial problems whatsoever, he claimed, adding that the broadcasts will start sometime later this summer. By his account, most of the reporters and anchors will be recruited in Great Britain where the casting process has already begun. The auditions of several famous Russian TV journalists in front of focus groups of English-speakers conducted in Moscow earlier proved the latter were not fit for the jobs with Russia Today.


Russia is not the pioneer in government-sponsored broadcasting targeting audiences abroad.  BBC along with The Voice of America TV, TV Marti and US programming aimed at the Arab countries are just a few examples. In the US alone annual government financing of such image-altering efforts is estimated to exceed $300 million.

prgroup.info : 06/03/05


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