Asgat Safarov: “Tatarstan remains one of Russia’s most media-rich territories”

9 February 2015, Monday

Tatarstan continues to be one of Russia’s most media-rich territories, Tatarstan President’s chief of staff Asgat Safarov said at an end-of-year meeting held today by Republican Agency for the Press and Mass Communications.

Attendees were Tatarstan State Council deputy chairman Rimma Ratnikova, officials and local media.

Republican Agency for the Press and Mass Communications chief Airat Zaripov delivered the keynote report. A total of 1,043 media with offices inside Tatarstan had registration in Tatarstan, he said. The list includes 89 radio channels and 73 TV channels; 665 print publications; 15 news outlets; 137 electronic periodicals. A total of 161 newspapers and 52 magazines are published in Tatar.

“Media editors take a whole set of measures aimed to support the subscription campaign. The result of this work is not bad: the number of periodicals per one thousand residents is 339 copies, while that in Russia is 152,” Airat Zaripov noted.

Within Russia's television and radio broadcast promotion programme, all local high-capacity television centres in 2014 launched a second digital air broadcast multiplex. As of the year’s end, 86 percent of the population were covered by the first multiplex and 70 percent by the second one, with a plan to, by the year’s end, increase the coverage to 98 and 75 percent, respectively.

“According to the concept, given the upcoming phase-out of analogue television, the focus is on promoting cable TV networks, with local TV channels included on low-cost terms. The document is currently examined by Tatarstan’s Cabinet of Ministers,” the official reported.

Airat Zaripov said the new year carried remarkable events like the WWII victory’s 70th anniversary, Tatar Autonomous Republic establishment’s 95th anniversary, 25 years since Republic of Tatarstan’s new statehood, year of literature in Russia, and year of parks and public gardens in Tatarstan. The year’s landmark events are the world aquatic championship and local self-governance elections.

“The year is going to be difficult but I am sure through a concerted effort we will cope well with the tasks,” he concluded.

TNV company general director Ilshat Aminov presented a region’s TV development concept, naming strategy’s four key aspects: regional channels broadcasting in all environments and on all platforms; technical and technological tasks, including switching to HD and other high-fidelity formats broadcasting; content issue; as well as region’s broadcasting organisation.

The regional channels needed to operate in multicomplexes, the official stressed. “If this environment becomes inaccessible, it will result in the number of channels being reduced,” he stated, adding that a local media complex design agreement had been concluded.

He went on to admit that a “vertically and horizontally integrated republican broadcast entity like VGTRK” needed to be set up. “We have no other way to economise funds and improve the content,” he said.

Tatarstan Union of Journalists chairwoman Rimma Ratnikova proposed creating an encyclopaedia of Tatarstan journalism. “The idea has been discussed since the 90es. Tatarstan Union of Journalists examined the issue, and it received support. The work is suggested to commence this year,” she said.

Summing up the meeting, Asgat Safarov noted the region’s informational space rapidly increased. “Tatarstan authorities give sufficient attention to the media and make large investments, including in their infrastructure and in promoting the republic in the international arena.”

The local government examined a set of anti-crisis measures, he recalled. “Everything remains as is, for a while we will be performing on all the 2015 budget items,” he stressed.

Asgat Safarov thanked the media officials for the work and presented awards. 

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