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Government's policy threatens quarter of Russian media with closure — journalists union

February 06, 2015, 15:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

This year, about 20-25% of the media will disappear, due to ill-considered state policy against traditional media, Moscow Union of Journalists head Pavel Gusev says

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© ITAR-TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Nearly a quarter of Russian newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television channels may have to close this year as a result of the government’s "ill-considered policy" against the media, Moscow Union of Journalists head Pavel Gusev said on Friday.

According to union statistics, 60,000 traditional media outlets exist in Russia today, 40,000 of them print publications, gathering an average audience of 100 million.

"Ill-considered state policy against traditional media has resulted in a crisis in the entire information sphere," Gusev said. "This year, about 20-25% of the media will disappear, making it difficult for our citizens to access socially significant, ideologically and politically important information. Rising prices will only make the situation worse while destructive attacks on journalists by lay people and incompetent bloggers will only grow."

"All media in Russia are facing their deepest crisis now," Gusev went on. "A great number of newspaper kiosks were shut down over the past year, and, as a consequence, this small business segment was eliminated," he said, adding that subscriptions for many publications had fallen by 80% in the past six months.

Meanwhile, "many countries understand the important role of printed newspapers and magazines in ensuring the information security of a state given that 60-70% of people going to the polls are readers of print media and television viewers, and not Internet surfers," Gusev added.

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