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World Media Summit highlights

MOSCOW, July 5 — Over 300 top and senior mass media figures from 103 countries on Thursday gathered here for the World Media Summit at the initiative of Itar-Tass.

The event is attended by representatives of such major news agencies and television and radio companies, namely the Associated Press, the BBC, Reuters, NBC, Al-Jazeera, Kyodo, Xinhua, and MENA. Among the guests are the leaders of nine international organizations, including UNESCO, and a delegation of the European Parliament.

"Concerted action by the mass media can help resolve the most acute problems of the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his message of greeting to the World Media Summit. It is mass media resources that largely determine the current and future realities in world politics, the economy and all spheres of life, Putin said.

"Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for ensuring the independence of mass media. “It is important to ensure the daily newspapers, television and radio channels and network resources should be able to work independently, for the good of society and give an impartial coverage of events and reflect the entire spectrum of opinions and positions and promote the preservation of cultural diversity and the promotion of humanitarian values,” Medvedev said in his message of greeting.

The governments shall do their utmost to protect journalists, to fight with impunity, and achieve justice, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his video message to the participants in the World Media Summit. He recalled that over the past ten years more than 500 journalists were killed while on duty and still more were subjected to arrests or confronted threats or had to keep quiet due to intimidation or censorship.

State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has called for formulating common international rules for the mass media and the state to follow in building their relations. In his opinion the state “is obliged to be not only transparent and clear, but also to take an active position in building relations with the media community.” The function of any state is “ensuring the security of its citizens, including information security,” Naryshkin said.

Russia’s political legislation will continue to be updated and the people will be given extra opportunities for displaying their potential, Naryshkin said, recalling that a reform of both houses of parliament was due soon. “Already now one can say that the existing norms will undergo fundamental change,” he said.

Against the backdrop of booming electronic mass media journalists should pay more attention to the authenticity of information, said the head of Reuters Media, Susan Taylor. This is a certain challenge to the whole industry, to such large news agencies as Reuters, and it is worth giving thought to the news agencies’ role and to the needs of the readership, Taylor said.

Foreign periodicals in Russian – from the first edition of Herzen’s Kolokol to the press of the former Soviet republics – are on display at the exhibition accompanying the World Media Summit. The exposition Russia that We Have Preserved features over 250 periodicals published over the past 150 years from the archives of the Russian State Library. Most of them are unique, the Reuter lady executive stressed. (PNA/Itar/Itass) /CTB/rsm

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