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These are ROUGH, UNEDITED NOTES by Bill Densmore of the media breakout at the CSPP summit. All spellings are unchecked for now and provisional for the moment. In addition, a Russian translation will be provided. A machine translation via Google may be found here.

  • Go to Day 2 (Tuesday) notes
  • CSPP Mass Media group home page

  • Morning discussion

    Viktor Yukechev, director of the Press Development Institute of Siberia and director of the on-line project "Tak-tak-tak."

    He helps find business solutions for new media -- search optimization, civil control, civil investigation.

    Tak, tak, tak is a resource training network to dsicuss issues. He is a journalists and sees a lot of problems from the point of view of developing journalism and civil media and the readiness of the institutes and journalism departments to prepare professionals.

    Fyodor Kravchenko, Association of mass Media Lawyers. It has 26 members in regions of Russia -- private lawyers and law firms. in 1999 he went to work for InterNews, and worked on a project called due diligence. The found that 9 out of 10 companies could be shut down for breaching the law. They found 26 lawyers who started to monitor the breaches and started to help to close them. They have a lot of partners since the new year.

    The situation is no better and the government is able to shut down any media. Media cannot perform their role if they don't have help.

    Defamation, intellectual property, advertising, licensing, registration, requirements of Russian law; access to confidential information and corporate tax and financial law where connected to the media.

    Grigory Pasko -- 1929 -- The 19th Article of the Human Rights Declaration and Article 29 of the Russian constitution. Need the fund because their are funds like this throughout the world. Fund for Investigative Journalism. Goal is to support journalists mainly in the regions. "They are very afraid are some law problems from the local governments and we hope that our fund can find the financing to send good lawyers there to protect the journalists." Works actively with businesses of Putin's friends.

    I know the psychology of these guys in the government. We need to be ready to stand and resist them. I don't think we have investigative journalism in russian. I am not afraid to say this.

    They are teaching new technologies.

    Natalia Vlasova, director general, Independent Radio Foundation. Supports regional and central radio journalists. Quality of infomation is not enough. Where there used to be just the echo of moscow, now there may be 12 channels but the quality isn't better. A great many journalists are willing to translate the press releases of the local adminstration. There are not so many investigations in radio news. they have moved to talk shows intead of news.

    New media is in their fund focus. The are talking with PRX. She wants to inform about training programs. Journalists are fed up. This is not like 10 years ago. They were willing to do trainings before, but now they can't go unless they are paid. There isn't time to train, you have to work.

    IN new media, people are thinking about technology without thinking about the quality of the informational content. They are only learning just now about how to sell content. Lagging behind on selling.

    Grigory Pasko --

    • Anna Koshman -- work scope
    1. Identify priorities
    2. Suggest a few projects to implement
    3. Defining resources in terms of grants/etc.

    Howard Finberg: Find the things that benefit both Americans and Russians. There are huge problems with journalism in Ameica when it comes to civil engagement. How do we teach American journalists that they need to learn from others and listen with a more open mind. Independence becomes isolationism.

    The other aspect of the working group needs to be making sure we find diverse contributors, not just in terms of the grantwork but to add to a more diverse pool of knowledge and experiences.

    Natalia Vlasova: How to implement broadcast projects -- Need regional content, although Moscow will be main source. She would like us to think about support of individual producers whether they are filming or making broadcasts.

    • Grig Shvedov -- His suggestion and question is linked to another moment -- as a point of development. How could the desire to be practical be combined with desire to work not in Russian but in mediaspace with creative individuals, with editors and to be part of some programs and discussions.


    Anna Koshman: Special traing needs exist in the Caucasus region. She has ideas for concrete work to be done. the most importnat issue is legislation on new media, in progress now. We don't have resources, lack intellectual resources to make some real proposals to the legislature. The legislation in Internet, will wreck it and if we don't have some response, I don't see it as we're an association, if there is a presence of some publishing organizations with some lobbying support. I would like to emphasize legislation and creation of legislation on new mass media and work on alevel which will yeild real results for all of us.

    There is a problem of governmentalization of mass media. They damage the market and make it tough for regional mass media. For her the USA experience is very important, learning from experience in hte Middle East. Are their some models that will be useful for Russia. For new media it is very topical. The legal aspect is very important and the protection of rights and journalists> There are lots of issues.

    More physical exchange, visiting, fellowships, dialog. Letters Webinars

    Understand what legislation is planned

    natalia: Need to have independent journalist meetings in to Russia

    Howard: There's an emerging group of independent journalists -- the fifth estate -- they have unique opportunities and challenges. Is that a shared area of interest? Need fostering of robust independent journalist community.

    Bill Densmore: Asks for background on the law?

    Fyodor Kravchenko -- Elaborate a robust partnership. Most valuabel to find some symmetrical orgnaization in the USA. Wants to concentrate not on concrete programs but on exchnage. Need to support the associations, who are the basis of civil society. An afford to support an organization of independent producers.

    Fyodor: Threats come from five or six directions. When journalism became more avaialble for bloggers on the Internet there were a lot of mistakes becuase the right to protrect the good name was forgotten. There are a lot of such problems. the work journalists are performing, they have learned to write good and clean materials. Need to make this information available to the bloggers because they are estarting to become afraid. They are the target of the government. others are afraid to write because they are afraid of people going to prison. For the public, there is no understanading of what we can and cannot write on the Internet. Advertising revenue is going to the Internet and bigger players will follow this money and regulators will start imposing some sanctions on the Internet and our Record 74 articles for one issue. There were 74 fines for one issue of a magazine, each fine is $3K minimum and the maximum is about $17,000, eac of the 74 fines. So it is a real threat, if we don't pay attention, it will hit severely new media. financial strength is the basis of independence and strength of the new media.

    IP is one ofthe most expensive problems. Cases used to be $10M, not there are presecednet of hundreds of millions of rubles. Need to teach thousands of peole about IP and about what they write on their facebook page or blog.

    the next problem: Information avaialble. One of the hardest topics in Russian. The information is closed. Press services block information inside the government institutins. Both Putnin and Mendevek implement ethical codes of a state worker, making amendments to the law of their status about the communicaiton between state officials and journalists -- it is prohibited. There is an effort to break this wall and amend these things and unfortunately there are serious problems of licensing an dregistration. Russian law saw unregistered media must be stopped. An Intenret site must not necessariy be registered but in the judicial practice there are a lot of cases where the high courts don't understand when the sites are considered to be mass media and when they are not. So the courts are trying to find the responsibiliyt for UGC content is th esame for registered and unregistered media.

    Is it possible to earn money on the Internret if there is no license to broadcast. If we don't get ready now we'll have a lot of problems in the future from the state state institutions who are not quite the idea of democratic institutions.

    There is a window of 1.5 to 2 years while judicial practices get formed. Need a monitoring project of what is going on in the courts. All new media are capable of being backstopped.

    What about online profiles? From biggest to smallest sites are in danger. Only the biggest institutions can afford this research.

    Viktor Yukechev -- Internet broadcasting is not regulated throughout the world and can be done from anywhere. If advertisres are ready, just need to pay taxes on the ads, and that is all. IN Russia there are contradictory things and there problem needs to be a unique approach, probably some proposals. There have been problems with IP, advertisements>

    Fyodor -- ON Nov. 3, there was a government meeting about licensing and no association know about this effort. Some associations posted it on their site and lawyers of three or four companies analyzed the document and sent propositions to amend it to change thse dangerous things could.

    Viktor -- Technologies of cooperation -- we need to think about it and organize some projects. The new technologies, we don't have the institution of journalist investigations, we don't have it. And we need to test these technologies with a fund created by Grigory. Develop some new media groups.

    After the break

    RESUMING after break, Bill Densmore proposes:

    • Russian-U.S. Media Collaboration Project
      • legal
      • operational
      • technology
      • business/advertising


    Issues: Establish associations for each individuals of civil society, a cessation of not some corporations but of those who cannot protect their rights on their own, they need help. For investigative journalists, for individual producers, photographers, bloggers especially, individuals who seek protection of trade unions.

    2nd: Partnerships in projects, to copy experience of already evolved instititutions, not to invent the wheel, copy the experience.

    Support projects linked to a summary of experience on legislation and amendments to legislature. Any NGO or player on the media market is deprived of the tool to know who is punished for what.

    Everyone pursues his own interest. Want blogging in the media area, a priority tool within civil society.

    Natalie Vlasova -- Russian Federation of Broadcasters is leader. They oppose us and have serious competition. Need support of an information center, sharing experience, facilitating work of one another. Agrees with supporting federations.

    Fyodor: Teach journalists how to create webinars and websites. This would help associations and would be of benefit to civil society.

    Natalie: Collect data about legislation affecting media. Analysis of bills. In final law, all the work they had done and presentation and analysis wasn't taken into consideration and it was a shock. Lack manpower in lobbying. Fyodor helped us a lot.

    Fyodor: State marginalizes the independent NGOs.

    Natalie: This would make regions more self-assured because they do not believe they can affect something.

    Viktor Yokechev: What forms of mechanism and support, what do you propose in he framework of this program, I don't get the idea.

    Natalie: Stimulate the activity.

    Fyodor: Support cooperating with state's industries. Use something as a platform, interface to make these NGOs heard in the state institutions. They don't want to hear about the independent NGOs. CSPP could help with finance and supporting these initiatives.

    Fyodor: "The state institutions have closed themselves from NGOs that are not support by the state."

    Anna: Let's speak about the priority as a subject, not the politics of getting the state to pay attention. Let's pick a project that makes the government more interested.

    Victor: Two directions of monitoring the law practice and lobbying the new legislation -- they can be united in one if we need to have three in the maximum, one group will be dealing with both resources. It's not logical to break them because new legislation needs monitoring and amendments.

    Likes idea of creating an association of traditional and informal mass media. Don't have associations today. NEtwork cooperation with citizens, freelancers, separate media structures.

    Talks about inviting bloggers to a new union formation -- blogger union, investigative journalists union. Organizing real events for bloggers, for civil journalism, can encourage them to create associations and then work with these associations. That's the next step.

    Anna: Comment on previous speaker. What are the new things we can propose. It is some common resource platfomr that will provide the NGOs with information. Using mail lists, Internet Center for Journalism, and some resource things.

    Bill: Talks about

    Fyodor: Do you think of this project of collaboration woudl be easier for it to be organized in the political environment we have now in Russia? The government is anxious about foreign initiative in the area of media. It would be a great victory, but is it possible. Right to concentrate on the new media, or pay the same attention to TV, newspapers and also.

    Bill: Focus on ethical issues and business issues.

    Summarizing the Monday discussion

    Howard: Task of summarizing:

    Says he heard some themes that are both appropriate for areas of priority, which is task this afternoon and have the overlap between us and russian society. have to find ways that this is a truely learn from each other kind of project. These are not in any particular order, out to talk about it:

    • A lot of conversation around intellectual property, copyright, ethics, not only for journalists but also for citizens. If you have a society that values intellectual work, it values the individual that created the work. If the perception is there is no value to the work it is a disincentive to do that work. That is an area in Russian and the U.S. for which there is shared, growing concern and a potential to learn from each other.
    • The role association, value and support of independent journalist, regardless of media platform. That is I think an emerging role in both countries, for different reasons. They share some of the same challenges of having to be alone and where do I find the support whether there is legal support, emotional support, journalism support, training support to improve the quality of my work and do something that has no formal organizational structure underneath.
    • There is some strong interest in the increasing role of investigative journalism both within orgnaizations and outside, in terms of having more people do IJ. In the U.S. economic forces have constricted that to the point where independent investigative journalists have emerged. The nature of investigative journalism in a digital age is an area where we can learn from each other and share.
    • On a higher plane, I heard pieces of this as it relates to government. What is journalism's role and value in today's society? If we don't respect journalism you don't respect journalist and so you can do what you want to them. This manifests itself whether it is jailing jouranlists, or beating up a journalist covering a protest in Oakland, by not just the police but by the protesters. And so in our civil society my contention is that we have managed to create a culture that disrespects the messenger and goes back to Roman times where if you don't like the message you just kill the messenger. That is dangerous for both societies, and so is there something there for us to look at.
    • I also heard about cooperation among NGOs and journalism organizations.

    Priority areas will be written into a CSPP grant proposal. People will be able to submit grant requests to do the work and to take those projects and maybe do something with them.

    We may have projects we may want to do personally. We have plenty to choose from and also in honoring our colleagues who had to leave.

    Anna: We have a large list now. She has seven items.

    She agrees with Howard to assess them from the point of view of the media community. She suggests each of us should articulate three priorities which in our opinion is important and narrow it down. For her one priority:

    • Lobbying to the government some drafts that it is time to make changes that reflect criteria of American colleagues; changes in Russia, of all points would like to choose formulation of online legislation and cooperation on legal issues on new media.

    I agree with Parvel on the procedure.

    Anna -- what are 15 or 17 issues so far?

    Here are all the issues:

    • Creation of associations among journalists, investigative journalists, and individual producers.
    • Copying American experience, cooperation.
    • Experience of legislation in the states. Lobbying
    • Support of associations on new media
    • Support of projects aimed at support with government due to the status of this program.
    • Using this program to eliver the opinion to the government
    • A cooperation in civil society projects to establish cooperate with civil society 19 in investigatioin.
    • Resource center of NGOs in the media
    • Projects in cooperation with American/Russian including: Leslation, operation, technology and business. That is my favorite topic.
    • Project aimed at innovations as Bill says, innovations, leading organizations in the United States.
    • Legislative topics about intellectual property.
    • Development of individual journalism, independent journalism
    • For American colleagues, investigative journalism, facing similar problems.
    • Projects on value of jouranlism, respoect for journalists.
    • Exchange of information within NGOs in the media.


    Howard: Finding the right mix of things we are passionate about. it's about finding those common things for not only just the sake of the project those three things but also for the sake of a dialog between us. That's the project.

    Anna: We will reach a consensus. Summing up.

    1. Program aimed at cooperation between Russian and american media on legislation, cooperation, technology and business.

    Howard: Issue around such a broad cooperation is it may be so big as to be difficult to see how to engage people in it. Bill said the groups that normally are interested in this kind of cooperation are fatiqued, the associations normally a linchpin to that have collapsed because some of their value has been diminished. He's concerned we will be going into swampy territory and not be able to get out.

    Fyodor: Formulate three priorities outside of cooperation.

    • Create a resource center or organization, a tool or platform for cooperation. That is more important than any thematic tool. Hopes there will be such a platform outside the government and one priority is creation of such platform.

    Viktor Yukechev: This could become a platform for sharing experience.

    Natalia: I agree, all associations have been working for sometime. We do not to develop these projects, we do that in the framework of our existing everyday activity, but the things we have not done I think we haven't touched on the problem of sociology of media and it is very important to us. We have a very bad reputation in Russia. it is a huge tool of manipluation and everybody turns it to their benefit, especially the big players. I think sociology is very important.

    Sociology we speak about the qualitative and quantitative rsearch of the audience. Diary monitoring in radio. they are not showing the true informatio and radio stations show the same information in different series so local broadcasters and Gallup for example has left a lot of cities and is only working int eh biggest cities so we do not estimate teh audience in Russia. What are the qualities attracting advertisers or the users; the number of unique visitors, the estimate of the efficiency of media projects, we do not have the methodology or the rules of play.

    Viktor: I agree we do not have this and it is a very hard issue. it woudl be obvious that it lies in the area of business. Without estimating the market we are not able to estimate our business.

    Bill: That is a worldwide problem. Audience metrics.

    Howard: How do people use media and is there a difference in societies?

    Bill: Another issue we have is what I call media deserts and media oases. Becuase news has been supported by advertising. That should be an area of common interest too.

    Viktor: Our intention on the audience, which is not interesting for the advertising, aren't willing to pay for this, we need to have some combination of solutions to be independent of oligarcys or sthe state and work for the whole community, regional or local or others, users who are not able to pay but their opinion, their position is a lot of things depends on their opinion. This is huge problem and if we could try to look fro a solution this would be great.

    Anna: I can articular this a problem fo a problem of media business in small markets. It is not a problem of metrics. I think it is a wide problem a problem of media business in small markets. WE can put it down separately the problem of media metrics, online metrics, scale of media and other matters in small cities because usually it is the regions where we have the problems.

    Natalia: I just want to say about what is happening in russia, the problem is that journalist themselves or the buisness owners, without knowing the needs of the audienc ethey serve, whether they get the audience right it leads to the fact that journalists work for themselves in their own space and the audience has completely differnet needs. If you don't see this feedback you'll work as freely as you like and it seems to us that creating these metering instruments it must be a cornerstone. It will make the journanlists, will make them work better and more responsible about their work. It is not about the community, it is about the journalist's desire to remain free but this freedom can lead to lack of responsibility.

    Fyodor: Shall we use the flip chart?

    A flip chart summary of ideas

    Ideas for project proposals to CSPP planners:

    1. Russian-U.S. media Collaboration Projects
    2. Innovation/unassigned
    3. Intellectual property/
    4. Individual/independent/entrepreneur journalism
    5. Investigative journalism
    6. Value of journalism
    7. Exchange of information
    8. Media/sociology
    9. Markets and support of weak markets
    10. support of associations
    11. Draft of legislation on new media and monitoring
    12. Access to legislation, information

    How do we develop the idea of monitoring and covering legislation on new media.

    Five blocks are suggested:

    1. Legislation / access to information 2. Technology / innovation 3. Journalism in new society 4. Association support 5. Media business


    1. Legislation/access 2. Tech/innovation/business 3. Journalism in society/association

    Information access/control

    • Support growing independent journalism movement in the U.S. and Russia
    • Help create an understanding within society of the value of the messenger independent of the message
    • Teach value of journalism in a civil society

    Mission to get the society to understand the role and mission of journalists. What is the tool, the means.

    Anna: Maria had an idea -- organize a competition for the most open administration to local media. This would be a project to show they are open, they need to provide information and be transparent. Second project is working with young readers -- newspapers in education. Teaching importance of journalism from childhood.

  • Go to Day 2 (Tuesday) notes
  • CSPP Mass Media group home page