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First Breakout report backs (2:51 p.m.)

Anna Balella and Maria

  • For Russian public it would be interesting to learn something about everyday American life. What do Americans do in the morning; what does it look like, what is the routine or schedule. That was one idea.
  • Another idea: Russian public would like to know more about media literacy and the central issue related to how to protect and educate children to make sure that children have studied about dealing with media and Internet-related issues. Media literacy for the public and in schools. And how to protect children when they are working with the Internet.
  • Law and ethics – elaborating on each of those subjects, for journalists.
  • Media privacy, another area of significant interest.
  • We had the Iron Curtain for a long time, they would be interested in everything – everyday life and other topics.
  • Media literacy – acsanza mentioned. It was her idea. We should focus our attention that, it is one of the problems we are facing.
  • Winter Olympics coverage
  • Issues related to Russian culture – ballet, theater
  • Coverage of sexual monorities – LGBT -- and their rights. This topic could be presented in a various manners. One thing is how it is presented aboard vs. within Russian. A burning topic. People can’t live and work. We don’t have those issues in Russia. It is not perhaps a popular project.
  • Regional and local newspapers converting into the Internet platform. Some people still work in old ways but could we design a project that would help those media to transition into the new media platform; and the ethical standards of making the transition.

Warren and Fyodor

  • WARREN: Fyodor said, American media lawyers know why they are doing what they are doing because the understand the role of the independent media. In Russia, one lawyer for one media company can’t talk to another – they can’t exchange information. He is looking for an exchange with American media lawyers and other people who have that bacgrkound or interest to get people to talk about how they do what they do and why they do it. Russian in-house company lawyers need to have a better unstanding of what independent media is.
  • Fydor: Providing independent media with legal help. Creating a market or association for media-lawyer collaboration. Possibly a conference?
  • FYDOR: Newsgathering. An exchange among Russian and U.S. editors about how to find stories. There are many immigrants in the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune area. It is not clear what stories are likely to be most of interest to them. Some Russian issues of interest could be of interest to the immigrant community. Also, solution journalism, such as developing stores about similarity between U.S. and Russian life. How do communities deal with the loss of industry, for example?
  • This is a good time to achieve interest in Russian news because of the Olympics. It is not that we need to speak about the Olympic games but it creates a “hook” for people to be interested in contemporary Russian culture and society.

Bill Densmore, Anna Koshman, Maria Balanski


  1. From gatekeeper to information valet – helping the public create and consume
  2. A clash of resources – print or digital / Russian digital-only expertise
  3. From competition to collaboration
  • Bill: Describes the clash-of-resources challenge – to be carried out as research followed by a conference.
  • Anna: There is no mmediate response – the investment is long term. The problems being faced in the U.S. tend to reach Russian media in three years.
  • Anna: Maria told us about her interest in the collaborative media model. You can work together, you can do an article and ask your colleague from California to contribute. It is not easy, at the same time, as journalists have strong egos and a sense of personal ownership of their own work. How do you transit from competition to collaboration?
  • Maria: And how do you build trust in the other party?
  • Anna: Transition from everyone is a consumer to everyone is a creator. What is the new role of the journalist – to educate and teach the public how to write and how to write stories. Press histories are very different in U.S. and Russia – arising from independent media vs state run media, we could compare the media.

Alyssa and Xana

  • Alissa Miller: Interested in the way story choice distorts the information the public is getting. Topics are skewed toward covering government and not covering social issues. Crime and government are the two big ones. Moscow is well covered by other regions are not. There is a video for mapping story choice. It is from Alyssa Miller at the Ted conference. She is from PRI.
  • Xana: When Alissa Miller traveled internationally, she found wide variations in how different stories and issues are presented around the world. Could we do some research on this phenomenon. The idea is rich and we could find different ways to show this and help audiences to understand issues from different handles. This is “news injustice.”
  • Xana: Another issue: We don’t see a lot of alternative views and speakers. HuffPost is an example of trying to fix that. This is an international problem. Different international perspectives – study of the same, using Russia as a seed venue for the project.

Julia & Viktor

  • Viktor: We started our conversation with how do we view the peple in the two countries. What do they have in their heads --- according to them the cold war isn’t over. Can we study why it is continuing and why is it preventing us from cooperating with each ther. Ideas:
  • Journalists from each country would work in the other. Why do they treat police one way or the other, or migrants, what is the cause and effect of it. We need to prepare the material for people to understand each other.
  • Americans don’t think they can take examples from Russians. WE can help on each other learn more about each other. These are tiny steps that could develop into something better.

Maria: Are you talking about a partnership, or looking at similar issues.

  • Julia: Go back and re-report some interesting moments in the Cold War that still influence public opinion. Americans think they know what happened; Russians have a completely different version. At the time we couldn’t talk about it bilaterally. People think we’ve moved on, but those tensions are still there; people don’t understand what happened really in the Soviet area. Use the resources of journalists in both coutnrys to open up some of those stories that are still intresting. We never got the whole story the first time around. A lot of information is being declassified. It is just sitting there. Before that moment goes away it is worth doing a good documentary job. Find partners in Russia to help do the research. It is time consuming>
  • Okasana: “From my point of view we face a second Cold War in Russia now.”
  • Julia: Viktor is very interested in citizen and what do citizens do and how much influence do they have on the government. He feels right now there is a huge disconnect from the muncipal to the federal level. People grumble among themselves about problems and the government is over here making its own agenda and there is very little communication among the two except at election time. How can media help be a better bridge. He’d like more education among all secotrs of ordinary citizens, media and government officials about a different model of how citizens influence governmentr, how the government can take into effect what citizens. He wants to lookat the way things work, a sort of Citizens Project. Americans could understand their own process better and how it works in a different country. What about the issue of trust between citizens and police, how can the police function if the public doesn’t trust them. In the issue, immigrants don’t trust the police because they fear deportation. Maybe we share problems? Focus on citizenship.
  • What is the role of media in fostering participatory government?
  • Bill: Talks about a conference on non-partisan redistricting.
  • Viktor: Trend of citizens/journalist interaction study is a good idea. Have to learn how to react on a regular basis. We have to to learn more.

LINK: Resource page from November 2012 Washington convening

LINK: Strategy suggestions from 2011 Moscow meeting