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MOSCOW, December 23 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev mentioned in his presidential address a possible creation of public TV in Russia. The idea was put forward about a decade ago, and it was believed that the only obstacle for the appearance of public TV was the absence of political will.
Discussions on the creation of public TV were started several times, and did not bring any results, Kommersant writes. Vladimir Pozner and Mikhail Fedotov were among those who suggested the creation of such a model of TV broadcasting. Fedotov did it regularly, especially after he was appointed head of the presidential council for the development of civil society and human rights. The conceptual framework of the law “On the creation of public TV in Russia” appeared on the site of the council on December 5. Its authors suggest the transformation of the VGTRK TV Company into public TV and the beginning of its financing not only from the budget, but also from the subscriber fare amounting to one per cent of minimal wages from each household. There is no reason to believe, however, that it is Fedotov’s initiative that was taken up by the President.
It has been a long-time dream in Russia to have a TV channel, independent from the state, which would be run by an expert council made up of well-respected people, and which would be financed with the help of the subscriber fare, Izvestia writes. Medvedev’s political will on the issue was first expressed last summer, during his official visit to Germany. He spoke there for the first time about the need for creating public TV and said he was willing to hear the opinion of experts. The council for the development of civil society was not long to wait and drafted the corresponding bill by early December. It says that public TV should be financed by the state (40 per cent) and by sponsors and subscribers (60 per cent).