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July 2012

31 July 2012

Russians’ Confidence in TV hits an all-time low

Russians no longer believe everything they see on TV. According to a Synovate Comcon poll, only 35 percent consider TV impartial – a historic low. While the Internet is more trusted – 40 percent of Russians have confidence in information found online – access is still limited for many Russians due to the country’s size and poor infrastructure

Historically, confidence in TV had been higher than in print media by tens of percentage points. Even in the 2010 poll, 40 percent of respondents trusted their TV sets as opposed to only 34 percent who had confidence in newspapers. This year’s ranking, however, showed that 36 percent of Russians trusted the information they read in magazines.

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Content containment: Russian blacklist of outlawed websites in force

President Putin has signed into law a bill obliging Russian internet providers to block websites with banned content and putting responsibility on state agencies and NGOs to search for such sites.

The bill was published in the official government newspaper, which brings legislation into force on Monday.

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30 July 2012

Media bill controversy

As the ink dries on a bill forcing NGOs with foreign financing to register as “foreign agents,” a similar proposal for media outlets is facing an apparent backlash from an unexpected place – the Kremlin.

The criticism over United Russia deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov’s proposed bill suggests the recent spate of laws for “tightening the screws” are not all passed down from the top, and at least some are seen as getting just a notch too tight.

Fyodorov, a legislator from the party of power, which was, until recently, headed by President Vladimir Putin, was somewhat baffled by the criticism from his leaders. “What, it’s normal to demand transparency for NGOs, but it’s not normal to demand transparency from mass media?” he told The Moscow News on Friday.

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27 July 2012

Collezioni at Anniversary Moscow City Racing

Collezioni magazine participated in the auto show Moscow City Racing, the brightest event of summer 2012, which took place at Bolotnaya Ploshchad over the weekend.

As part of the show, Collezioni organized a lounge zone for guests, where they could have a look at the latest magazine issues and enjoy fresh non-alcoholic cocktails from Evian, which were most certainly quite refreshing in the sweltering heat.

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26 July 2012

Media Landscape Shifts With Putin's Return

If prime-time television is any indicator, the country's media landscape is undergoing a major shakeup.

Last weekend, Svetlana Kuritsina, a provincial activist for a pro-Kremlin youth organization, debuted on NTV national television with her own show, “Luch Sveta,” or “Ray of Light.” During the half-hour road show, the somewhat inarticulate 19-year-old was shown discussing how she could use her overdeveloped bust for her career.

Kuritsina, better known as “Sveta from Ivanovo,” became an Internet sensation last winter after a video surfaced of her rambling about how Russians “have become more better dressed” under Vladimir Putin. Her Saturday night debut was watched by 357,900 viewers, more than any other television show that evening, Izvestia reported.

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Media Subject to New Dry Law on Ads

Print media holdings and Internet portals will become a bit drier this year following the government's decision to prohibit them from publishing alcohol advertisements.

President Vladimir Putin signed off on the changes to the advertising law last Saturday, but representatives of the alcohol industry and media outlets are concerned about the effect these rules will have on their revenues and ability to reach out to customers.

The new rules banning alcohol advertisements are effective immediately in Internet sources and will take effect in print media on Jan. 1, 2013, according to a press release published on the president's website.

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25 July 2012

A pending union of giants in the book industry

As with other businesses, technological developments over the past couple of decades have had a profound effect on the book industry. With increasing choice for entertainment, fewer people are spending time with their noses in books, and those who are often either opt for cheaper – and lighter – digital versions, or take the route to the black market, downloading pirated versions.

Even in a historically literatureminded country like Russia, the situation is no different, though piracy has proven to be a more serious problem here. Over the past four years, the total number of books printed in Russia has declined from 760.4 million to 612.5 million, while digital sales have remained insignificant.

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24 July 2012

Web Providers Brace for Restriction Bill

Internet service providers are adding and expanding their systems for scrutinizing online content as they prepare for the onset of the new Internet restriction law.

Taking effect Nov. 1, the law forces Internet service providers to help the government shut down websites featuring content banned by the new law or otherwise deemed illegal. President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign the legislation, which flew through the State Duma and Federation Council earlier this month.

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23 July 2012

New chapter for Russia’s indie bookshops

As the country’s two biggest publishers join forces, small stores fight to keep independent publishing afloat.

Just off Moscow’s Tverskaya Ulitsa—home to the Ritz Carlton, Tiffany’s and some of the most expensive real estate in the world—there is a small yellow arch inscribed with the word “knigi” (books). Inside, Falanster has little decoration to speak of, save for a poster of Che Guevara by the cash register. Customers bump into each other as they wander through the small room. And everywhere—stacked in piles, spilling out of shelves—are books.

In May, Russia’s most powerful publisher, Eksmo, announced that it was acquiring its main competitor, AST. Eksmo and AST publications, which range from cookbooks to fantasy novels, account for around 40 percent of the Russian book market; in some areas, like fiction, their dominance is near-total.

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20 July 2012

Make Magazine Launches Interactive Google Partnership

Make magazine is harnessing the power of Google through a new interactive campaign that leverages a variety of aspects from social media, online gaming, audience development and live events, with the launch of its Maker Camp on Google+

Maker Camp, which is sponsored by the quarterlyMake magazine, an O'Reilly Media property, is a virtual summer camp for teens, with a focus on creating, building and discovering. Users can sign up to do 30 projects all brought to life through Google+ over 30 business days. On the July 16 launch day, the Google home page even promoted the venture—which linked directly back to Make ’s website—enabling millions of people to learn about the project.

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