The Charter of TV Companies was signed on 7 June at the State Duma. VGTRK (Whole Russia TV and Radio Company) chairman Oleg Dobrodeyev, Director General of the Perviy kanal (Channel ONE) Konstantin Ernst, the NTV Director General Vladimir Kulistikov, the CTC Director General Aleksandr Rodnyanskiy, TV-Center President Oleg Poptsov and also the Ren TV ex-president Irena Lesnevskaya signed the document. The Charter states that mass media has to take “measures in order not to hurt public morality, not to spread information and materials of pure cynic and abusive character and /or propagandizing a cult of force and cruelty”.
The channels’ chiefs agreed to introduce free will restrictions on covering events and informing which may “greatly hurt mental and moral development of children”. They determined that only news programs, including reports from the places of event and also TV, documentary and feature films may cover such materials. And four months after the Charter was signed, the MPs have found out the main points of the document being severely violated. “There are still films and programs on screens which cover issues contradicting the signed document,” Lubov Sliska said. The project on appeal, elaborated by the first vice-speaker, says that despite the Charter was supported by the leading TV channels of the country, there is “a lot of information on criminal actions which is against the regulations of the Federal law “On advertisement”, there are also less programs for children and youths, information enlightener programs”. At the same time, the document specifies that “the State Duma calls on your understanding freedom of speech as a tool to form a civil society in Russia and believes that you not with words but in action will manage to compromise on commercial interests of TV channels and interests of millions of Russians who support the ideas of glasnost, freedom of speech and legality”.
It should be noted that MPs are greatly supported by Russian citizenry in matters of struggle for morality on TV. According to the results of the poll conducted by the Investigation Holding ROMIR Monitoring this August, 45 % of Russians are for scenes of force to be banned in any TV programs.
Evgeniya Zubchenko, Maryam Magomedova