Vladimir Putin on economic independence of mass media

The development of Russia's information business has entered a brand new stage, Vladimir Putin stated while opening a Kremlin meeting with delegates to the all-Russian conference entitled Media Industry: Trends of Reform.

According to the Russian president, at issue is "the transformation of mass media into a modern market sector of the Russian economy, which both has a growth potential in itself" and is also capable of encouraging the leading production technologies in other spheres.

The head of state stressed in particular, that "it is impossible to fulfil the constitutional right for an access to authentic news without media's economic independence." Putin said that "few have so far managed to gain profit from their work." For many years, the media industry "has been mostly involved in politics and the struggle between different interests," Putin said adding that it was "not surprising." "Unfortunately, our peculiarity was that mass media was neither an independent nor a profitable business, while it was mostly used as an instrument of political preferences in the competitive fight in other, much more profitable spheres of economy," the president added.

Putin acknowledged that the conference would gather 800 people from all across Russia - from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad. According to the president, this testifies to the "realisation of corporate interests and attempts to work out and formulate a common stance, primarily, in relations with the state."

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