A course for journalists on Svalbard, 2th – 6th of May 2016
Some say it´s difficult to understand the relation between Russia and Norway without understanding Svalbard. What is really going on in this islands? What is the history behind Svalbard and the Svalbard treaty?
Journalists from four countries will soon meet in the Swedish town of Haparanda. On April 21-24 it will host the Annual Meeting of Barents Press International. The themes of this year are various. But the leading one is the digitization of media. What does it mean for us? What we do we lose or acquire moving totally to the virtual and digital world?
Why newspapers are not trusted
A round table in Arkhangelsk, co-sponsored by the regional N. Dobrolyubov Science Literature Library and Russian State Press University, has discussed the issue of public trust of the media.
An exchange of views followed on why the level of people’s trust of media-published information is steadily declining and what needs to be done to restore it.
“Journalists themselves are to blame,” Yevgeny Bakhanov said. “At the beginning of perestroika the newspapers decided that advertisers were more important to them than the readers. So we sold the newspapers, sold our journalistic ethics, and betrayed our readers and our profession.”
Among other reasons participants mentioned imperfection of the Russian laws regulating relations between media founders and journalists, and the declining level of journalistic professionalism.
Vladimir Fedorenko, a secretary of the regional Communist party committee who attended the round table, commented: “I was very much surprised by the Moscow guest’s suggestion that the reasons for lack of trust in the media should be sought within the journalistic community itself. Let me remind you that twenty years ago the newspapers did not start earning money of their own free will; they were forced to survive in a country plunged by its rulers into wild capitalism. Considering that the state today is often the main media owner, it is quite logical that editors pursue a policy of serving the authorities and turning journalists into obedient ‘state order’ executors. I think mistrust of the media is rooted in the lack of interest on the part of the bureaucrats at all levels in having the newspapers provide comprehensive and unbiased coverage of what is going on in society.”
Significantly enough, the round table was not attended by a single government official.
Tamara Ovchinnikova, Glasnost Defense Foundation staff correspondent