Medvedev still against government involvement in media

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 22, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is not changing his position regarding the need for the government to keep out of the media, especially in the regions, and he regrets that this has yet to be done.

“It’s a shame that we didn’t bring this topic to its conclusion. The government’s presence in the media is not lessening, and in some ways it’s getting bigger. In fact, the regional head often wants to have his own state-run media,” Medvedev said in an interview with the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

A correspondent from the paper noted that there was no such thing five years ago, but now state holdings have been created in all the regions, and financing for state-run media has tripled. In response, Medvedev said: “You know, it used to be acceptable for us to answer the question this way: we have 88,000 or 90,000 media outlets, and 3% of them are government-owned – what else do you need? And the truth is, which media is more powerful. That, of course, depends on how successful private media is.”

“I believe that in the regions they could well have done without pumping in state-run media holdings, all the more so because we have a powerful federal resource that we can use everywhere: the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company is capable of bringing the government position to any region,” Medvedev said.