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OECD welcomes Russia’s decision to create public TV

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has welcomed Russia’s initiative to create public TV.

“I have noted the initiative introduced by President Dmitry Medvedev in his latest address to the national parliament and with interest I monitor subsequent developments,” OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic told Interfax in an interview.

“Public broadcasting represents a traditional and necessary element in the media systems of European and North American countries and a necessary element of the functioning democracy,” she said.

Only three European countries, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, do not have public TV, she recalled.

“I hear the arguments that there is no difference between state and public broadcasting, therefore there is no need to transform one into another. These arguments do not hold water. There are not differences but a yawning gulf between the two models of broadcasting,” Mijatovic said.

“Public broadcasting is structured to have legal and political safeguards against being held hostage to the top politicians. Public broadcasting is capable of making society better by sharing with citizens the depths of knowledge, information and culture that has been amassed by mankind,” she said.

Medvedev voiced the idea of creating public TV channel in Russia in his address to the Federal Assembly in December 2011.