14 February 2014
Source: Novaya gazeta
The Union of Journalists of Russia is extremely concerned about the continuing attacks on independent media that based themselves on extremely vague ‘moral norms’ and are accompanied by campaigns of discreditation organized in line with the worst recipes of propaganda and the political ‘black arts.’
From this point of view, the latest attacks on Dozhd TV channel and Echo of Moscow radio station are merely the development of a political campaign.
The so-called ‘moral assessments’ used in these attacks are, in fact, highly subjective and are designed to take the debates out of the realm of the law and the Constitution. They are often from persons having nothing to do with journalism, who do not take into account the community of journalists, and not only fail to base themselves on the law, but also on standards of journalism that are generally accepted both in Russia and in the rest of the world.
As a result of government financial policy, we see the growth in the media of professional ‘government’ journalism, that often, alas, turns into propaganda, business journalism, professional sports and ‘high society’ journalism, and even professional tabloid journalism, not to speak of professional public relations. But at the same time the journalism of civil society is being pushed into the internet where it loses both in terms of quality and responsibility. Moreover, the structural backbone of professional civil society journalism is not only not being supported, but in practice is being purposely destroyed. This does nothing to improve the social and political situation in the country, not to speak of the damage that it does to the journalistic profession as such.
The Union of Journalists of Russia, in supporting our colleagues at the Dozhd TV channel and Echo of Moscow radio station, is forced to once again repeat its principled position: all questions related to the work of the media must be decided exclusively by means of the law.
Any violations of ethical norms, whether these are real or only seem to have taken place, are considered and assessed within the professional community.
Secretariat of the Union of Journalists of Russia