RIA Novosti: Russian State TV Journalist Plagiarizes Nationalist Website

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – A reporter for Russia’s leading television channel admitted lifting huge chunks of a nationalist report about the Sochi Olympics’ opening ceremony for use in her own report, which aired over the weekend.

Irada Zeinalova said she quoted a report by Kremlin-bashing web resource Sputnik & Pogrom without attribution for a broadcast on Channel One.

The report “found such true and subtle words about the Olympics that you could wish for nothing better,” Zeinalova said in a Facebook post that later was deleted.

She apologized for unattributed quoting and said she “faced the music” with channel management, which has not commented publicly about the scandal.

Sputnik & Pogrom’s report, published Saturday, praised the ceremony for a pro-Western slant and avoidance of rampant conservatism that is at the core of the Kremlin’s current domestic policy.

Both the website and the presenter touted the event, in particular, for presenting “aristocratic Russians” to the world, as opposed to kitschy stereotypes about balalaikas and “aggressive drunken soldiers.”

Sputnik & Pogrom directly accused Channel One of plagiarism on Monday, but said no legal action was planned because the channel de-facto helped spread their ideas.

Russian nationalism has largely been a marginal political trend over the past two decades, championed by neo-Nazis and radical anti-Semites.

Sputnik & Pogrom, active since 2012, is Russian nationalism’s most successful attempt to cross over into the political mainstream, with tens of thousands of likes on social networks.

The website offers a mix of glossy magazine-style posters, hard-hitting opinion pieces and translations of analytical pieces from Western magazines such as Foreign Policy.

It advocates secularism and Western-style democracy as prerequisites for creating a “Russian national state,” and vehemently opposes the regime of President Vladimir Putin due to its alleged corruption and devotion to the concept of a “multinational state.”