In a special decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow announced the establishment of a new media entity that will absorb and unite under one roof several major players on the Russian and international media markets. Newly-created conglomerate Rossiya Segodnya will include the RIA Novosti news agency and all of its side projects, as well as radio broadcaster Voice of Russia, broadcasting worldwide in dozens of languages. The move is the latest in a series of steps aimed at modernizing Russia’s media sector, according to officials.
RIA Novosti is one of the largest Russian news agencies, providing news in 14 languages, while Radio Voice of Russia broadcasts to 160 countries around the globe in 38 languages. However, both entities have been sharply criticized for ineffective spending of their budgets.
Head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said that the changes would make publicly-funded media more efficient.
“Russia has its own independent politics and strongly defends its national interests: it’s difficult to explain this to the world but we can do this, and we must do this,” Ivanov told reporters.
The direct translation of Rossiya Segodnya is Russia Today, but the new body will be separate from RT, a Russian international TV network formerly known as Russia Today.
In a separate decree published Monday, the Kremlin appointed Dmitry Kiselyov, a prominent Russian television presenter and media manager, to head Rossiya Segodnya.