MOSCOW, November 5 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev said he won’t teach mass media and interfere in their work, but would like them to reflect events more truthfully and give priority to really important news.
“By virtue of existing laws in the information world, super important news concerning our life often disappear, while things that are extremely subjective and sometimes senseless get priority and occupy top positions on the news wires and make headlines in various mass media,” the president said at a meeting with members of the Orthodox public on Saturday, November 5.
In his opinion, this breaks the real news picture of the day and people get a distorted view of events.
“It’s hard for me of course to teach mass media. First of all, this is not something for the head of state to do. Otherwise, people will say that he tries to dictate something. Second, there are in fact laws of the genre, but these laws must be somewhat fair and must separate important news from what will disappear from the news in a day,” Medvedev said.
“Sometimes [news] wires carry absolutely senseless things that become seriously discussed and sparkle heated debates for days. Suffice it look at what becomes information trends in the blogs: there are absolutely pressing things and there are things taken out of the blue,” the president said.
He believes that this affects life and can make a person lose clear moral bearings.
“A person must get the right bearings in the information space. Otherwise, it is very hard to find one’s place in our life,” he added.
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.
At the same time, Medvedev said he sees “nothing super tragic” in the current information policy.
“It’s just that it is necessary to give a full-colour picture and create truly new mass media that will show life as it is. I mean not only traditional mass media but also the Internet where everyone must be present, including the Russian Orthodox Church, because the number of inquiries for such information on the web is very big,” the head of state said.