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Prokhorov suggests moratorium on media reshuffles until election

February 14, 2012, 19:51 UTC+3

Ekho Moskvy editor in chief Alexei Venediktov said that the radio policy would be unchanged and his resignation was not proposed

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MOSCOW, February 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Businessman, presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov has proposed a moratorium on reshuffles in media outlets until the presidential election.

“Such actions [reshuffles of media ruling bodies] are a form of political pressure on journalists, which is not permissible,” he said. Prokhorov also said he was ready to help the Ekho Moskvy Radio get a loan on preferential terms for buying out stock from Gazprom Media.

There must be a strict division between functions of the board of directors and the editor’s office in media outlets, he said in a special statement posted over the Ekho Moskvy situation. “Representatives of the editor’s office are elected as the board of directors’ members to discuss the strategy of the media asset development. At the same time, the board of directors must not interfere in the policy of media outlets, which often happens in Russia. I am positive that the absence of interference in the editor’s policy must be the main and compulsory condition of all media resources,” he said.

“I am also positive that the authorities must have no ways of influencing the media. On the contrary, the media must be able to influence the authorities. That is a key principle of building a sound society,” he said.

It was announced on Tuesday that Gazprom Media demanded the resignation of the Ekho Moskvy Board of Directors. The radio and the media holding coordinated a list of candidates, which would be put on vote at a general meeting on March 29, 2012. The list preserves independent directors and suggests that Svyazinvest General Director Vadim Semyonov and former Lenizdat General Director Yevgeny Trubin should replace Alexander Makovsky and Yevgeny Yasin.

Ekho Moskvy editor in chief Alexei Venediktov said that the radio policy would be unchanged and his resignation was not proposed.

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov called the reshuffle political and said Ekho Moskvy had long been an eyesore to the ruling party.

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