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RIA Novosti Preps for Change

Published: March 12, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • RIA Novosti, pictured above, and the state radio service Voice of Russia are to both be merged into Rossia Segodnya.
    Photo: Vladimir Filonov / SPT

Three months after asurprise Kremlin announcement that Russian state news agency RIA Novosti was tobe liquidated, changes are under way atthe company.

As employees were asked to schoose whether tostay onat RIA Novostis replacement agency or sign redundancy contracts, theagencys editor-in-chief Iraklii Gachechiladze said Thursday that staffing procedures forthe new company were almost complete andthat its final structure could be unveiled next week.

Related: RIA Novosti Employees Await Word on Fate of News Agency

Employees up toand including theagencys editor-in-chief were stunned onDec. 9 bya presidential decree liquidating RIA Novosti, Russias largest state-run news agency.

Under thedecree, RIA andthe state radio service Voice ofRussia are tobe disbanded andtheir remaining structures merged intoa replacement media organization named Rossia Segodnya, which is Russian forRussia Today.

News andcommentary website Slon.ru ran astory Wednesday quoting aletter sent toemployees ofRIA Novostis regional offices inwhich thedepartments head described thesituation as a rather bleak picture.

The letter said thenumber ofregional correspondents would be slashed, while those remaining will work fromhome, thereport said.

Gachechiladze criticized thereport, saying Slon.ru had failed toproperly secure RIA Novostis position ondevelopments.

Related: http://www.sptimes.ru/story/38685

Even respected publications such as Slon.ru are not trying toreach RIAs press service before publishing materials, said Gachechiladze. All thereforms are taking place with as much transparency as possible, therefore there is no need torely ondifferent interpretations ofthe events taking place.

Even rank-and-file employees within thecompany have been left largely inthe dark about plans forRossia Segodnya andabout thespecifics ofits future editorial policy since theRIA Novosti liquidation news was announced, however.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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