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Monday, August 15, 2005


New propaganda channel in Moscow

From Kommersant:

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has decided to create in Moscow a youth TV channel with a strong ideological trait, Kommersant learnt. The channel will be bankrolled by the Moscow Government. The new project will come as a part of a massive propaganda campaign to suppress “orange sentiments” among the youth. Experts suppose, though, that the mayor may use a teenager resource for his political ends as well.

The special channel is only a part of a large-scale “youth campaign” of the Moscow mayor. It was officially launched in late July when Moscow mayor signed an instruction to set up the Civil Relief youth movement and allocated for it 3 million rubles from the city coffers. An array of steps to “improve social work with young people in Moscow” will be considered at the city government’s session on September 13, according to Kommersant. The draft program sets its goals with an extreme frankness. The Moscow Government is going to cut short “orange sentiments” in the youth environment. “The participation of students in color revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan proves the fact that destructives forces may take advantage of the youth, who do not receive enough of the authorities’ attention, to disrupt public peace and order,” the document runs. More than 130 million rubles is to be allocated from the city budget to carry out the program. Most substantial sums, over 60.5 million rubles, are to be assigned for the IT and mass media committee. What is more, it is not a budget of new mass media, but funds for the development of new projects, a source of Kommersant in the government said.

“This is going to be mainly an interactive channel with live stand-ups from youth venues, like Pushkinskaya square, universities and night clubs,” Dmity Vityutnev, deputy head of the youth policy committee, says. Movers of the project say there are going to be many movies, musical programs and even news, whose “ideology” the Moscow government will take on.

Experts of media market do not highly estimate the prospects of this format. “All TV channels are now fighting for young people but they prefer not to watch TV and have fun somewhere else,” analysts say.

The Kremlin is not of high opinion of the idea either. “This is crap,” says a high-placed source of Kommersant in the presidential administration. “The cable is a highly isolated chain of poor quality. The Moscow authorities will certainly try and “gather it together” by dictator methods. The Moscow government’ endeavors are basically viewed as an attempt to join the popular federal “youth” trend. But, to say the truth, Moscow has started suppressing “orange sentiments” extremely late.”

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