MOSCOW, April 26 (Itar-Tass) —— As many as 77 percent of Russians support the project for creating Public Television, as follows from statistics quoted at a meeting of the Open Rostrum council of experts, by chief of the national public opinion studies center VTSIOM, Valery Fyodorov on Thursday.
“This is not just a result of recent opinion polls. In 2007 we asked a similar question. Then 71 percent came out in support of the proposal. There is demand in society for such television,” he said.
In the meantime, representatives of the Communist Party and Yabloko addressed the project with criticism. For instance, the deputy speaker of the State Duma’s committee for culture, Vladimir Bortko, said that “neither Kuznetsk coalminers, nor Kuban grain farmers have been demanding creation of public television.”
“The creation of public television is sought by liberally-minded intellectuals, the party of liberal intelligentsia. But they have their mass media already,” said Bortko to have warned that the emergence of public television might turn the whole country into a protest demonstration.
Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin believes that the main problem is not the absence of public television, but a situation in which government-controlled television performs the function of mind control.”
“Nothing will change with the creation of public television. In the decimeter waveband there will be public television, and in the meter waveband, government television. Both will be doing the job of mind jamming,” he said.
Mitrokhin also opposed the suggested format of running public television.
“The president would approve of a council at the proposal of the Public Chamber he had appointed himself,” he claimed.
The deputy chairman of the State Duma’s committee for culture, Sergei Zheleznyak, of the United Russia party, has disagreed.
“The presidential decree to create public television is the first in a series of most important steps. What it will be like depends on you and me,” he said.
The legislator recalled that public television exists in 49 countries of the world.
“The model is different everywhere, and there is no universal one. Public television is an indicator of civil society’s maturity,” Zheleznyak said.
President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree to create public television on April 17. It should be up and running as of January 1, 2013.
“The decree envisages a number of measures to ensure the television channel should be genuinely public, and not something else. It must be not government-run, but social. Effective measures must be in place for eliminating excessive state pressures on the activity of that institution,” Medvedev explained.