Russian-language news exchange supports independent media
Free Press Unlimited supported the establishment of a Russian-language news platform. The platform brings together stories of independent media initiatives in countries with large numbers of people who speak Russian as their mother tongue or second language.
“Each year there is less space left for independent media in the Russian language area. With the Russian Language News Exchange we try to counter this trend”, says Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach of Free Press Unlimited. She oversees the Russian Language News Exchange platform, that was facilitated by Free Press Unlimited. The purpose is to increase the access to balanced and reliable Russian-language information in the countries of the Eastern Partnership and beyond.
The platform consists of independent media outlets working in or for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. In all these countries, there are large numbers of people that speak Russian as their mother tongue or second language. Supported by a central news desk, the participating media are able to provide their audiences with high-quality local, regional and international news and analysis. Sadouskaya-Komlach: “The platform does not focus exclusively on politics and international affairs. There is also room for human interest, economy, culture, sports and humour in all possible online and offline formats.”
The project has received initial support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the commitment of other international donors. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, emphasized that the purpose of the Dutch government is not to oppose the state media, but to strengthen independent unbiased media: "Counterpropaganda is ineffective and goes against our democratic principles. We wish to support the work of independent media initiatives without dictating what they should write or broadcast."
Photo: Paul Enkelaar