MOSCOW, November 5 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev said there is no need to cerate governmental bodies that would shape up information policy, specifically on television, but said advisory councils could be useful in this respect.
“I do not think we should dramatise the situation on television even though some things there make me uneasy,” Medvedev said at a meeting with members of the Orthodox public on Saturday, November 5.
“As for different councils, consultative bodies haven’t done harm to anyone so far, and I have no objections in this respect,” the president said. “But a presidential or governmental body for shaping up information policy would be useless and won’t be able to work,” he said.
Medvedev said television in Russia and in the world is different, especially with in the advent of digital technologies, and cannot be brought to a common denominator.
“It all depends on people,” he added.
The president noted the words said by one of the participants in the meeting who has quit one television channel and took up a job with another over disagreements with the information policy of the management.
“ If every journalist applies such criteria to himself, we will have high-quality journalism and high-quality television,” Medvedev said.
“The pursuit of rating cannot be self-valuable and dominating,” he said.
In his opinion, even criminal news can be presented differently. “It is a matter of taste and sense of measure. Criminal news can be presented differently, including from the point of view of Christian moral principles because there is a victim in every crime, and Christian considerations suggest that one should feel sorry for the victim, not show heaps of bodies and corpses,” Medvedev said.
On the other hand, he thinks it would be wrong to go to the other extreme. He recalled the opinion that the current television policy has been imposed by the authoritarian regime, keeps the opposition away and hushes things up.
The president stressed that television is losing its positions in the modern information environment. “I look at my son and his peers and see that they take little interest in television than older people. The internet has replaced television for them,” he said. “And in this respect, Internet-based mass media and social networks bear greater responsibility because they become much more important for some people than television.”
“The situation on the Internet is even more complex as there are both useful things there and there are absolute trash and dangerous things of destructive nature, such as calls for breaking the state system,” Medvedev said.