The Russian media landscape has undergone a multi-stage process of change since 1989. A phase of relative freedom of expression and freedom of the press at the beginning of the 1990s with the establishment of numerous private independent media was followed in 1994/95 by a time when media empires emerged, in which so-called oligarchs became owners of media companies and state corporations such as Gazprom and Lukoil Oil Company were the main shareholders of the major national television stations appeared. After President W. Putin took officeIn March 2000 the opposition media groups were broken up and a period of centralization and re-nationalization of the media sector began. Since 2001, it has been either state institutions (government, presidential administration, mayors, governors), partly or mostly state-owned corporations, state-affiliated banks, fund companies or economic functionaries close to the Kremlin who exercise control over a large part of the media operations. The semi-state media holding Gazprom-Media plays a key role here. B. Echo Moskwy, the publishing house Sem Dnei and weekly newspapers belong. WGTRK and Rossija Sevodnija (from the end of 2013) are the major state media holdings.
The strong editorial influence of the media owners as a result of the economic dependency of the media and Putin’s doctrine of “information security” led to a restriction of the freedom of the press, regardless of the freedom of expression guaranteed in the constitution. Since the Electoral Act of 2002, there has also been a kind of contract journalism with the obligation for editors to publish certain materials or to conceal or downplay certain facts. Searches, (temporary) closure of editorial offices, layoffs of journalists, economic pressure in the form of credit refusals, exclusion of advertising contracts, fines, but above all also legal measures and physical violence against journalists critical of the government are further characteristics of “managed democracy”. In the following years – after the terrorist attack on the Moscow Musical Theater in 2002 and especially after the Beslan hostage drama in 2004 – the freedom of the press was further curtailed. In 2007 the “Federal Supervision Service for Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Mass Communication of the Russian Federation” (Roskomnadzor), which is subordinate to the Kremlin, was founded, to which the licensing and control of all media is subject. The agency has also been monitoring, filtering and blocking the Internet since November 2012. Foreign companies’ stakes in Russian media will be limited to 20% of the capital shares from 2016.
Press: According to themakeupexplorer, Russia’s most important print media include the nationally distributed daily newspapers “Moskovsky Komsomolez” (tabloid), “Komsomolskaya Pravda” (former organ of the Communist Youth Association, issues in several CIS countries), the traditional “Izvestia” (150,000), das Former trade union papers Trud, the evening papers Wetschernaya Moskwa and Sowjetskaya Rossija, as well as the governing body Rossiyskaya gaseta and Kommersant (with two weekly magazines) and the independent quality newspaper Novaya gaseta. The leading business paper is »Vedomosti«. The weekly papers are also widely read, especially »Argumenty i Fakty«, »Ogonyok« and »Itogi«. – News agencies: TASS (state), Sputniknews (founded in 2014, news portals of the state media holding Rossija Sevodnja in more than 30 languages), Interfax (founded in 1989, private). – broadcasting: For most Russians, television, which can be received free of charge, is the main medium of information; there are around 5,000 television channels and 3,700 radio stations in total. All national television stations are under the direct control or, through corporate conglomerates, under the influence of the state. The first national television channel (»Perwyj Kanal«, formerly »ORT«), 51% state-owned, has the largest reach and is received almost all over Russia. »Rossija 1« »Rossija 2« (formerly »RTR«), the cultural broadcaster »Rossija K«, the news channel »Rossija 24« and the foreign broadcaster »Rossija RTR« (formerly »RTR Planeta«) are part of the state media holding WGTRK, which was founded in 1998. Since 2013 the government broadcaster »OTR« has been broadcasting an educational and »society« program. The former Kremlin-critical private broadcaster »NTW« was brought under the control of the state in 2001 via the state-owned natural gas company Gazprom. Other television stations are the entertainment channels »TNT« (Gazprom-Media) and its private competitor »STS« (STS-Media), as well as the documentary channel »REN-TV«, owned by the »National Media Holding« (NMG) since 2008 with the majority owners Severstal (steel), Surgutneftegaz (energy) and Bank Rossija, and the Moscow »TV Zentr« (TWZ). One channel critical of the Kremlin is TV Doschd, which has been largely restricted to the Internet since 2014. The foreign broadcaster of the Russian Federation (»RT«) broadcasts information programs in four languages (including the Internet). One channel critical of the Kremlin is TV Doschd, which has been largely restricted to the Internet since 2014. The foreign broadcaster of the Russian Federation (»RT«) broadcasts information programs in four languages (including the Internet).
In the radio sector, the major nationwide broadcasters such as “Radio Rossii” and “Radio Majak” as well as 95 regional VGTRK broadcasters and the information broadcaster “Echo Moskwy” (Gazprom-Media) are also state-owned. There are also a number of commercial radio stations geared towards entertainment; the most popular are »Avtoradio«, »Russkoje Radio« and »RetroFM«.