What is the level of cooperation between the media in the Russian Federation and countries of the Islamic world? What common projects are being implemented in the media sphere and planned in the future? Are there any other additional tools to achieve more effective cooperation? They are one of the issues raised at the International Conference ‘Russia – Islamic World: Practical Steps in Media Cooperation’, which is held today in Moscow.
Leading journalists, experts and representatives of media companies and news agencies from Muslim countries and the Russian Federation gathered together at the Presidential Hall of the International Multimedia Press Centre of the International News Agency ‘Russia Today’.
The conference is attended by: Grigory Karasin, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs; Mohammed Al-Yami, Director General of the Union of OIC News Agencies; Ramazan Abdulatipov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Mohammed Al Rayssi, Executive Director of the WAM Emirates News Agency; Bora Bayraktar, Director of the TRT World Turkish TV channel; Mohamed Beshari, Secretary General of the World Council of Muslim Communities; Anna Belikova, Counselor of the Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’, Senior Lecturer at Moscow State University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations and Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Chief Specialist of Russia Today’s External Communications Service; Yunus Inayat, the UNA Director of External Relations and Strategic Development.
The scientific event is held in a mixed format: in person and online via Zoom. In addition to it, it is broadcast on the website of the International Multimedia Press Centre in Russian, English and Arabic.
The organizers: Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’, Russia Today Media Group, Sputnik International News Agency, Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA).
Partners: press service of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RT (Autonomous Non-Profit Organization (ANO) ‘TV-Novosti’), and Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
A series of meetings of the Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’ on media cooperation between Russia and the Islamic world has resulted in the need to transform joint activities into the stage of intensified practical implementation. In this regard, the conference ‘Russia – Islamic World: Practical Steps in Media Cooperation’ is organized, which is aimed at discussing competitive steps and projects on information cooperation between domestic and foreign specialists.
The event began with a welcome address by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, which was read out by Deputy Chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’ Farit Mukhametshin.
In his address, the Head of the Republic noted the high level of cooperation between Russia and countries of the Islamic world. Moreover, regular events held by the Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’ testify to the dynamics of fruitful international relations. Cooperation with countries of the Islamic world in the media sphere is one of the key aspects of the Russian international policy. Rustam Minnikhanov expressed his opinion that in the current difficult geopolitical situation the role of mass media was increasing and that the journalistic work of honest and verified mass media was crucial in combating false information and promoting traditional spiritual values.
In his turn, Ramazan Abdulatipov noted that an aggressive information war was being waged against the Russian Federation.
‘Muslim countries are not the only ones suffering from the one-sided policies of the West. Western media and social networks are waging war against Russia as well. This is for a reason – our country is the leader in the struggle for a new model of world policy,’ the politician expressed his opinion on the worsening contradictions between the West and the East.
Ramzan Abdulatipov also highlighted Vladimir Putin’s speech at the X Summit of the Heads of States and Government of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Malaysia, which marked the beginning of a new stage of restoration and consolidation of the Islamic vector in Russia. ‘Information war has turned into a theatre of war. Therefore, we need to mobilize to defend the truth about Russia in the modern world,’ the politician concluded his speech.
The Head of the Press Centre of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Deputy Director of the Department of Information and Press, Ivan Nechayev, focused his presentation on the effective work of the Russian Foreign Ministry with foreign journalists from Muslim countries.
In his opinion, development of media cooperation with the Islamic world is the most important doctrine of Russia. The dialogue of civilizations is of great importance in the world arena.
Then he went on to highlight some aspects of work and interaction with representatives of the Islamic world media: ‘At present, there are 650 accredited journalists in Russia, including 400 correspondents and 50 technical officers from 62 countries. There are representatives of the Islamic world among them, from whom we receive many requests for interviews with the Ministry. There is constant interaction. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are increasing their presence in Russia. A balanced approach to the current foreign policy situation, compliance with the law, objective reporting on the situation in Russia, and an attitude to objectivity – are the main characteristics of the work of journalists from Muslim countries’.
He also spoke about the Foreign Ministry’s new communication format. In particular, there are weekly informal meetings between Maria Zakharova and mass media representatives, which consolidates the camaraderie.
‘The guiding principle of our press office is no fight against hostile propaganda, but as part of protecting journalists we sometimes intend to apply punctual retaliatory measures. A new direction of the Foreign Ministry is press tours around the country. In a couple of days, there is a chance to show socio-economic opportunities, cultural life of regions and to talk to the leadership. More than 70 trips have been made. A tour to Tatarstan is expected in the nearest future,’ the speaker stressed.
Ivan Nechayev concluded his speech by calling for support for ‘inter-confessional peace on our restless planet’ and suggested that Muslim countries increase their presence in Russia.
According to Alexey Nikolov, General Director of Autonomous Non-Profit Organization (ANO) ‘TV-Novosti’ (RT), the standard model in journalism is broken. ‘It is being denied by those who have lectured on real ethics and standards of journalism. Fake reigns supreme today. Fake news is what the so-called collective West, which once lectured on journalistic standards, is doing. Now nobody pronounces the word law. We are told to live by the rules. This is a substitution of law’.
‘As everybody knows, the world should have free access to information. There was censorship in the USSR. But now we can see censorship flourishing in the West, as it once did in the USSR. The RT channel is banned in Europe, which is a violation of the law. There have always been journalists in Russia who do not succumb to the dictatorship of fake and create honest journalism. We are trying to bring the truth to the world,’ Alexey Nikolov addressed the conference participants.
Mikhail Gusman, First Deputy Director General of the TASS News Agency, noted the importance of the conference, which is of great significance for the development of cooperation between Russia and mass media of the Islamic world. He is convinced that nowadays maximum activity is needed to consolidate interaction with the Muslim world. According to him, TASS cooperates with over 20 agencies of the Islamic world. ‘On our initiative, the World Information Congress is planned to be held in Morocco. We are inviting media representatives from all over the Islamic world to the conference,’ Mikhail Gusman said.
The plenary session ended with a summing up, which highlighted important proposals for joint programs and initiatives with the Islamic world in the media sphere.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"