No Freedom of Speech in Russian Media—TV Personality

Vladimir Posner.  Source: dp.ruVladimir Posner, a notable TV journalist and president of the Russian Academy of Television, believes that there is no freedom of speech in Russia’s mass-media. As the Interfax news agency reported, Posner revealed his views at a round-table discussion on the state of television in Russia. In part, the meeting was devoted to discussing the ethics and morals presented on television, as well as possible supplemental laws that would benefit the mass-media.

“Our law on the mass-media is failing substantially,” Posner said. “I insist, that on our television, and not only on television, free speech does not exist.” As an example, Posner explained that during recent Parliamentary and Presidential elections, “there were things that were absolutely forbidden: you can’t talk about him, you can’t show this one, and that one you can’t invite.”

Posner was once one of the Soviet Union’s best known spokesmen, and now hosts Russia’s most popular political news show. He told “60 Minutes” last year that democratic reforms had definitely been rolled back since President Vladimir Putin took office. Commenting on why opposition leader Garry Kasparov never appeared on his show, Posner openly admitted the reason: “Because Channel One will not allow it.”

Eduard Sagalaev, the president of the National Association of TV and Radio Broadcasters, agreed with Posner, adding: “we have very little truth and much banality on television.” “An information policy has formed in Russia, which de facto does not consider free discussion, and which de facto does not consider live programming,” he said.

“And I don’t know what to do here.”

Alternate spelling: Vladimir Pozner