Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Russian Minister of (Mis)Information Berates Journalism Students

Red Square in Moscow
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At a Moscow State University-sponsored conference entitled, Journalism: Social Mission and Profession, Alexei Volin, Deputy Minister of Communications and Mass Media, delivered the antithesis of a "pep talk" to nascent journalists, the iMediaEthics.org Web site reported.

Emphasizing that journalism is a business and not a mission, Volin told students: "The task of a journalist is to make money for those who hired him, and this can only be done if you become interesting to listeners and readers." Continuing his unspirational speech, Volin added: "Journalists should always keep in mind that their task is not to make the world better or lead humanity along the right path."

No doubt, faculty squirmed when Volin told them that lecturers who didn't adhere to these precepts were committing a crime. During a Q. & A. following his address, Volin, asked how he believed the audience would react to his message, replied: "I don't care about your reaction." Doesn't sound like a guy who hung around for the reception.

Journalists who attended the lecture expressed concern to iMediaEthics that the Kremlin increasingly has been adopting a hard line toward Russian press freedom. Making a guy like Volin a Minister of Communication is like hiring Mel Gibson to be your company's Diversity Officer or putting  Dick Cheney in charge of Recycling.
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