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Russia wants NGOs to justify country's low press freedom ratings

© RIA Novosti . Ruslan Krivobok / Go to the photo bankMoskovsky Komsomolets editor-in-chief Pavel Gusev
Moskovsky Komsomolets editor-in-chief Pavel Gusev - Sputnik International
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Russia's Public Chamber is set to ask global nongovernmental organizations dealing with press freedom to explain why Russia ranks so low in their freedom of speech tables, an senior member said on Thursday.

Russia's Public Chamber is set to ask global nongovernmental organizations dealing with press freedom to explain why Russia ranks so low in their freedom of speech tables, an senior member said on Thursday.

"I am personally offended by the situation," said Moskovsky Komsomolets editor-in-chief Pavel Gusev, who serves as the chairman of the Public Chamber's commission on communications, information policy and freedom of speech in the mass media.

Russia occupies 140th place out of 178 in the latest rating by Reporters Without Borders. It is up 13 places on last year, but organization said the situation with press freedom in the country has not changed.

"The BRICs - Brazil, Russia, India and China - may all be at a roughly similar stage of economic development but the 2010 index highlights major differences in the press freedom situation in these countries," the annual Reporters Without Borders report said. "Russia, which had a particularly deadly preceding year, is still poorly placed at 140th."

Freedom House also said the situation with violation of press freedoms in Russia has not changed significantly and most of nongovernmental organizations, independent media and opposition still experience pressure from Russian authorities. According to the Freedom House's report Russia remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.

Gusev said that although there are some problems in Russia with regional media and pressure from authorities, many outlets are better than those in similarly ranked countries.

"I know that Komsomolskaya Pravda, Argumenty i Facty, Moskovsky Komsomolets, Echo Moskvy, Russian News Service and other Russian media surpass Uzbek and Malaysian newspapers in level and quality," he said. "It is ridiculous that we [Russian media] are put there [in the rating]."

The Public Chamber will ask Reporters Without Borders and the Freedom House to explain "by what criteria we stand between Tunisia and Fiji," Gusev said.

"The Reporters Without Borders index measures the violations of press freedom in the world. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists and news organizations enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom," the organization says.

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti)

 

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