In fact, PRAVDA.Ru started publishing materials about three months before the official launching of the Internet-newspaper. Our first readers appeared in 1998, when the international situation involving Iraq was rather strained.
The decision to create an independent Internet-newspaper was made then. We have been publishing a daily version of PRAVDA.Ru since January 27, 1999. It is interesting to note that the new edition is supported by the veterans who had already been working with the Pravda newspaper for several years. The project was started by Stanislav Pastukhov; Vladimir Chertkov; Vasily Izgarshev; Alexander Golovenko; and certainly Pravda’s most popular photographer over the last 30 years, Maya Skurikhina. Former Deputy Editor-in-chief of the Pravda newspaper Vadim Gorshenin is the head of the new Internet-newspaper.
The basic principle of the new Internet-edition is based upon the intention to make it a sequel of the Pravda newspaper, prohibited by presidential decree in August 1991. It is an open secret that the Pravda newspaper that is published now under the Communist Party’s aegis is not a legal successor to the newspaper published by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Their views differ as well.
Three years is a short period of time, but not for a new Internet edition (sometimes Internet editions start and stop within even shorter periods). What have the achievements of PRAVDA.Ru over the last three years been?
Certainly, our staff of journalists has increased. Today, our journalists work not only in Moscow, but in St.Petersburg, Ulyanovsk, Volgograd, Kiev, Bishkek, Cherkassy, Beijing, London, Lisbon, Mexico, Washington, Brasilia, and Dublin. The number of freelance correspondents has increased as well.
The number of PRAVDA.Ru visitors has considerably increased during our three years on line. The launching of our English-language version was the main reason for this increase. Our editorial priorities have changed as well. The English-language site is the most complete version of PRAVDA.Ru; it is based mainly on texts originally published in Russian. This edition has achieved considerable results: we scarcely have any rivals in this sector of the Russian information market, including off-line editions with longer histories.
The following fact is of great importance as well. When, a year ago, a diplomatic scandal broke out in connection with unflattering comments towards Russia made by US National Security advisor Condoleezza Rice, a refutation of the information was received from Rice’s staff and published by PRAVDA.Ru exclusively. We also then reported that her refutation was unconvincing. Condoleezza Rice amended the situation and declared that Russia would remain a respected partner of the USA.
This line followed by PRAVDA.Ru has made us one of the main information sources about Russia’s life for foreign Internet users. That is why Russia’s first Internet-newspaper looks ahead with confidence. There is an economic reason as well: this project has been developing independently, without borrowing loans or taking money from investors over the whole period since its launching. Unlike many Internet projects, PRAVDA.Ru is entirely self-supporting. And the editorial is completely independent regarding the interpretation of any facts of public life.
We hope that PRAVDA.RU will further develop. Our future plans include the opening of an editorial staff in St.Petersburg, launching a version in Portuguese (it is now under development) and the improvement of the site’s design and navigation. We hope that PRAVDA.Ru will remain a main information sources for readers. In addition, we hope that our readership will also increase.