MP wants to introduce a mandatory sign for the media – the recipients of foreign grants


MOSCOW, October 22. Member of state Duma Committee on informpolitiki Alexey Kazakov has prepared an amendment to introduce compulsory character for the media – the recipients of foreign grants. He stated this at the enlarged meeting of the Committee on “Foreign money for the Russian media”.

In the centre of attention of participants in the discussion is the draft law on the introduction for the media mandatory reporting of Roskomnadzor about all derived from overseas funds. An exception is made only for advertising revenues and receipts from founder, as well as for representative offices of foreign mass media.

“The transmission of information to Roskomnadzor does not solve the problem. I have prepared the amendment, and, if this thing passes the first reading, I second will offer (the norm) on the mandatory introduction of sign media, which receives foreign grants”, – said Kazakov. “The challenge is simple – every citizen, opening a particular newspaper, need to understand: he whose opinion reads, who pays for this opinion”, – said the MP.

The introduction of notification for foreign funding

The bill on introduction of mandatory notification for foreign funding does not prohibit the media and not aimed at restricting freedom of expression, said one of the authors of the initiative, the Deputy from the Communist party Alexander Yushchenko.

“This initiative is rather logical addition to a certain number of initiatives that have been adopted by the state Duma”, – the MP said today at the enlarged session of the Duma Committee on informpolitiki on the topic “Foreign money for the Russian media”.

In the centre of attention of participants of the discussions recently introduced a bill on the introduction to the media mandatory reporting of Roskomnadzor about all derived from overseas funds. An exception is made only for advertising revenues and receipts from founder, as well as for representative offices of foreign mass media.

“The bill is not prohibiting, it does not prohibit any media coverage and does not restrict the freedom of speech,” Yushchenko said. He noted that working directly with the media and finds in constant contact with journalists, well aware of the “internal kitchen” and “would never support an initiative that would prohibit the media or restrict the freedom of speech.”

The authors of the bill in the first place was set the task “to inform citizens, end consumers about possible biased information or unbiased information,” says the representative of the Communist party. “Since we know that information since the birth of mankind is a rather serious weapon, and how to dispose of them, depends on the development of our society,” he added.

The draft law does not spelled out the form of information, and this is the purpose of today’s meeting is “to discuss with the community the pros and cons, in order for the second reading to make some adjustments – what form of the media or the publishing house may inform citizens or Roscomnadzor about possible financing from abroad”, said Yushchenko.

In the OP support the bill on foreign funding of media

Public chamber (OP) the Russian Federation generally supports the bill, the winding of the media to inform Roskomnadzor about getting funds from foreign sources, but believes that some points should be improved, said the Chairman of Commission OP on development of information community, media and mass communications Dmitry Biryukov, speaking at the enlarged meeting of state Duma Committee on information policy, information technologies and communications.

He stressed that “this is not a very simple law, but when in the Public chamber of his carefully researched, came to the conclusion that, far from the media, it seems this measure is excessive.” “Overall, I believe that the law is necessary, I think that also need laws in the field of ownership,” said he. “In General, OP supports the law, but some improvements can be,” – said Biryukov.

Member OP Elena sutormina also noted that, in General, supports this bill. “We will take another look at, make recommendations and submit to the state Duma”, – she said. In her opinion, “this bill was developed in a timely manner”. “Now there is more pressure, there is a statement by the U.S. state Department on countering what they call Russian propaganda. In the summer we participated in the OSCE conference in Vienna, there was great pressure on Russian media, stated that Russian propaganda, which we should fight,” said she.

Earlier in the Duma was introduced the bill, according to which the media receiving funding from abroad, will be required to notify the Roskomnadzor, otherwise they will be subjected to fines and, in the case of repeated violations will be closed. The bill does not apply to funds received from advertising. The head of the Duma Committee on Informatica Leonid Levin stated that he did not see in this bill any risks. “Here neither for the media nor for the society or for the state there are no risks,” he said. “But in order for such procedures (foreign funding) were transparent to avoid trying to hide this information, apparently, and made such a bill,” Levin believes.

Increased transparency should not be repressive

Increased transparency should not be repressive and hinder the economic activity of the media, also said Leonid Levin.

“For us the main thing is that these ideas about enhancing the transparency was not retaliatory in nature, do not impede the economic activities of the media,” Levin said, opening the meeting. In his view, any increase transparency should be done in the interests of consumers, to promote its awareness. “You can’t do it by increasing costs that are eventually borne by the consumer of mass media products”, – said the Deputy.

According to Levin, “it is also necessary to create feasible any electronic forms that would allow such declarations in General be reduced to the instant action and not to burden the interaction of the media and regulators.” This applies to any form of interaction between the media and regulatory agencies, without regard to the proposed bill, the MP said.

“The bill is extremely harmful”

First Deputy Chairman of state Duma Committee on informpolitiki spravoross Andrey Tumanov called extremely harmful bill to introduce mandatory notification of foreign financing of the media and suggested that the problem proposed to them to settle, in fact negligible.

“This bill is extremely harmful, I’m not going to support it,” said Tumanov.

“Yes, there is an information war. But the information war we need to somehow wisely, to do some action that will lead to the result,” said the MP, doubting that this is a focus of the adoption of this bill.

Speaking about the depth of the problem, Tumanov said that among his friends the publishers “is almost never finds those who receive foreign money.” Fog notes that the problem might not be worth a damn, “to now some sort of law to accept.”

In addition to the state Duma deputies in the meeting of the Committee involved members of the Public chamber of the Russian Federation, representatives of the print media, industry experts and specialists.

WLN will hold a survey among the publications about the bill

The Union of journalists of Russia (UJR) within a week to conduct a survey among the publications and find out their attitude to the bill, the winding of the media to inform Roskomnadzor about getting funds from foreign sources. This was announced by the President of the Russian Union of journalists Vsevolod Bogdanov, speaking at enlarged meeting of Committee of the state Duma.

“We, the Union of journalists of Russia, during the week, agree to spend among the media, including in the regions, a survey regarding this bill. Get answers and offer you our views and position,” – said Bogdanov.

However, he emphasized that “with the adoption of this bill it is impossible to rush”. “We have a common sense approach to this topic. And I think that haste in this matter is unacceptable”, – said the President of the Russian Union of journalists.

“In all European countries, foreign capital in the media field is present. There are countries where up to 100% of the media are issued on foreign money. And for some the tragedy when out foreign capital”, – said Bogdanov. “I wish we returned to the topic of resettlement in the media market. Foreign capital is an important issue on which to take hasty decisions,” concluded Bogdanov.