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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon,
A few words at the beginning of our meeting.
I issued instructions to draft a concept of public television in our country as part of the set of measures following the Presidential Address [to the Federal Assembly]. The [Presidential] Executive Office has been working on it partly in cooperation with the Government. There are several approaches to creating a public television network and I would like to hear a report on this matter since the deadline is approaching.
There are several major decisions that need to be made. First, it is clear that public television must have some legal status. This may be the easiest question, but nevertheless it has great importance. Second, something that is not as simple, is the sources of funding for a public television network. There are several possibilities: it can be achieved through tax contributions from some activity, or an endowment fund could be set up, or there may be some other options.
In any case, the sources proposed must ensure the independence of the public television network from any owners, which is vitally important. The owners in this case include both the state and private owners if they participate in the creation of such a media outlet.
In addition, it is essential to consider the management bodies and form of public control, and we will come to a decision on these issues as well. The bodies responsible for the operation of the public television network will be formed with the participation of civil society; they will bear full responsibility and at the same time, will be free from interference in the network’s editorial policy.
Let us discuss ways to combine these approaches, especially since there have been some different draft proposals on this issue.
Let's get to work.