The 18th World Congress of Russian Press opened in Paris today. It features more than 250 representatives from the Russian-language printed media, radio stations, television channels and Internet media from 64 countries.
The forum is organized under the auspices of the World Association of Russian Press (WARP). The congress coincides with opening of the Russian Orthodox Cultural and Spiritual Center in Paris, which has already welcomed its first visitors.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a welcome address to the congress participants, which was voiced by the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky.
“For many years now, your congress has been bringing together mass media heads from many different countries. This communication event plays a very important part in consolidating Russian media space and offering a platform for exchanging professional experience and developing new projects and ideas,” the president said in the address. “We are sincerely grateful to you for your genuine interest in events in Russia and in our country’s views and responses to the issues facing the world today. In the current complicated international situation your work to spread comprehensive and truthful information takes on particular importance.”
A key topic of the congress will be maintaining and strengthening the status of the Russian language in the world. The forum will also focus on cooperating with the diaspora consisting of millions of Russian-speakers abroad.
“Our congress has already become an important event in public life not only in Russia, but in other countries, too,” TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov said at the opening ceremony, stressing it was TASS who initiated the WARP organization back in 1999.
“We offer training programs for young reporters of Russian-language media, we offer consultations,” he said. “The information and communication environment in Russia and in the world has seen big technological changes. The Internet, social networks, multimedia technologies and the like affect our work. The ongoing development and command of new formats are most important.”
The director general invited participants in the Paris congress “to discuss how compatriots abroad exercise their rights to access information and communication in the Russian language, as well as to focus on production and professional exchanges.”
The Association unites more than 3,000 Russian-language printed and electronic media in 80 countries. It is the only global union of Russian-speaking reporters, publishers and executives of printed, electronic and other media, who live and work abroad.
The organization, headed by its President and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Vitaly Ignatenko, sees its tasks in consolidating the Russian-language media, in keeping close cultural and language connections between the diaspora and Russia, in partnering up with and significantly developing dialogue between the Russian-speaking media and their counterparts in Russia.
Paris is hosting the World Congress of Russian Press for the second time: previously, the French capital hosted the event back in 2007. There are special reasons the forum is organized in France. Almost seven decades ago, in 1947, the first issue of the Russkaya Mysl (Russian Thought) newspaper was published in Paris. Nowadays, the oldest printed media is distributed in France, the UK and Greece, it has subscribers in the US and Japan, as well.