Staunton, February 17 – The explosion of nationalist discussions on the Internet, Pavel Gusev says, is the direct result of the Russian government’s restrictions on traditional media that do not allow for the discussion on their pages of issues of concern to many Russians and non-Russians.
The editor of “Moskovsky komsomolets” who is also chairman of the Union of Journalists of Moscow told that group yesterday that the Kremlin by its restrictions on the media is driving people to look for information that the official media aren’t not now providing (nazaccent.ru/content/19467-gusev-nazval-razgul-nacionalizma-v-socsetyah.html).
He noted that is paper is the only one of the four federal newspapers which is privately owned. But because of restrictions on what can be discussed, Russians are turning to the Internet which often is an “irresponsible” place and where people have their views reinforced rather than challenged.
The situation is only going to get worse, he warned. Some 20 percent of traditional media in Russia will cease to exist “before the end of the year” largely but not exclusively as a result of the economic crisis. Unfortunately, there too the government is helping: By destroying kiosks, the government has cut into the sales of many.
Gusev said that he has called on Vladimir Putin to include the number of kiosks per capita in his rating of governors because that provides a useful measure of the risks to which the traditional media are now subject.