ITAR-TASS News Agency in Dublin
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Mass media in Russia
Russia has close to ninety officially registered television companies, 25,000 newspapers, over 1,500 radio programmes and 400 news agenciesŚover half of them independent, the rest entitled to full or partial government financing.
The Mass Media Act, passed in December 1991, regulates their activities. Judging by opinion polls, 82 per cent of the Russian public see television as the principal information source, and prefer it to the press. Radio comes next with 24 per cent.
The total number of subscriptions to publications exceeded 61~5 million in 1994, with newspapers accounting for 43.8 million. 78 per cent of Russians are regular readers of local periodicals whose total circulation accounts for 25.2 million copies, while that of national papers is 18.1 million copies.
The weekly "Argumenty i Fakty" leads the national press, with 36 per cent of the polled readership, and is the most popular among people with college and university degrees and those in managerial occupations. Moskovsky Komsomolets, a Moscow daily, is second in popularity, with a huge number of subscribers and sells like hotcakes on the newsstands. The youth weekly "AIDS-lnfo" and the daily "Trud (Labour)", a favourite with trade union bosses and blue collar workers, come after these two.
The respectable daily "Izvestia" (News) is a pronounced preference in cultural, research and business circles, 35 out of a hundred political activist poles are also its regular readers. Of the Russian dailies, "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", "Commersan Daily", "Moskovsky Komsomolets", "Rossiiskaya Gazeta" and "Pravda" are also popular among political leaders, as are the weeklies "Finansovaya Gazeta" and "Moscow News".
Opinion polls highlight the most popular TV programmes-"Wonderfield Quiz," "Topic," with its social and political charge, news programmes, and foreign serials.
The "Mir" (World) interstate television and radio company, established in the middle of 1992, is jointly sponsored by Russia, Armenia, Tajikistan, Belarus, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and some other Commonwealth countries.
"Mayak" (Beam), a round-the-clock radio station, which broadcasts news every thirty minutes, is most popular. Private radio stationsŚEurope Plus, Radio 101, M Radio, Moscow Echo, Radio Nadezhda (Hope), Nostalgie and others also have huge audience. They broadcast information, the analysis of the most important events and music. The new radio station Auto-Radio telling the audience about the situation in the Moscow traffic and about everything connected with cars has rapidly gained popularity.
"ITAR-TASS" and "RIA Novosti", the two national news agencies, are followed by private and joint-stock agencies: "Interfax", "Postfactum", and "IMA-PRESS".
The Russian Information Agency "Novosti" (former APN) has 50 offices in foreign states, seventeen in the CIS countries and receives information from correspondents and stringers from about 40 cities in Russia.
The agency daily transmits up to 150 telegraph communications to almost 500 subscribers. More than 3,000 subscribers receive thematically bulletins covering the reforms in Russia, its economy, science, culture, international life and so on. An illustrated "Russia" magazine and Russian press digest, "Sputnik," are circulated in Russia and abroad.
RIA "Novosti" has its own news analysis service, a television company, a photo service, and a radio station.
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