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BBC Monitoring
Freedom of speech in Russia developed problems - leading editor
Source: Radio Russia, Moscow, in Russian 0900 gmt 13 Jan 03

[Presenter] Today is Russian Press Day. The first issue of the Vedomosti newspaper was published in Moscow 300 years ago on the day. It contained information on military issues and new developments worth knowing and remembering. Yesterday, my colleagues interviewed the editor-in-chief of the Novyye Izvestiya newspaper, Igor Golembiovskiy. He believes that glasnost in Russia has again developed problems now, 18 years since it began.

[Golembiovskiy] The problem is that the situation in Moscow is different from that in the rest of the country, in the regions. Glasnost disappeared in the regions a long time ago and it is rather difficult for a journalist there to publish any sincere and open information, while in Moscow the situation still looks favourable. But it would be a mistake to believe this. Judging from what happened to television channels, the same will happen to the press, i.e. the authorities will be trying more and more to foist on it their own system of control over the mass media, and the future is not without a cloud, it seems.

[Question] Do you think the media law should be changed? I mean what was proposed by the State Duma and later rejected by the president.

[Golembiovskiy] He was right to reject it. It was fair. The law, which was adopted in 1990, still works today. However, some changes may be necessary, for example, in the copyright section. But on the other hand, we have the law on joint stock companies, which settles this aspect of the problem, including for the mass media. Therefore, I do not think there is a need for any fundamental changes to the existing law.

[Question] Igor Nestorovich, what problems do you, as the Novyye Izvestiya editor-in-chief, have?

[Golembiovskiy] The only problems we have at present are financial and economic ones. They are quite complex, but we hope we will be able to solve them.

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