President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, dear friends,
We are here to celebrate the 75th anniversary of television broadcasting in Russia. I congratulate you on this occasion and address my first and warmest words today to those who were at the origins of television in our country – the veterans of our broadcasting industry. At the dawn of the television era they began with experimental black and white television stations, laid the wonderful traditions of Russian television and established its creative school.
Representatives of various television channels and various professions related to television are gathered here today as one big family. Just like in any family, everything can happen, and you compete against each other, quite fiercely too of late. But at the same time you are all united by your vocation, your devotion to your beloved work and your kinship as part of the one big family of television. Of course, you are also united by your understanding of the importance of your profession and the particular role it plays in society.
Television today forms the outlook, tastes and preferences of its viewers (millions of people around the world, and not only in our country), and sets the rhythm and style of life. These immense possibilities go hand in hand with immense responsibility.
When the first television signal was broadcast, the world entered what without any exaggeration can be called an absolutely new era. Television has obliged the world to develop according to new laws in politics, the economy and culture. It has brought great change to people’s lives, giving them entertainment, vivid colours, enormous flows of information and a feeling of being a part of events no matter where they take place in the world.
It is a source of pride that our compatriots Vladimir Kozmich Zvorykin and Vyacheslav Ivanovich Arkhangelsky were at the origins of the wonder that is television. History will always preserve the fact, too, that it was our TV cameras that first showed the Earth from in orbit and showed the first man to walk in space.
Russian television has always been distinguished not only by technical innovation but also by its creative identity and spirit of respect for its viewers. Humanity, artistic taste and the authentic Russian traditions of enlightenment are the visiting card of Russian television throughout the world.
The words and civic stand of TV journalists played a huge part in successful democratic transformation at the start of the 1990s. This was a time when every bold TV programme and report, every vivid TV commentary, helped expand the boundaries of freedom and bring down barriers and dogma.
Today, too, the development of our state and society is unthinkable without independent media, without the possibility of listening to different points of view, without television.
More than 14,000 electronic media outlets were registered in Russia at the beginning of this year, and this is far from the limit. Cable, satellite and interactive television are all developing very rapidly.
It is symbolic that our country is beginning the practical work for a transition to digital format in this jubilee year.
I am sure that no matter what the technical methods of broadcasting, you will preserve the great traditions I have mentioned, the traditions that were laid down by your predecessors, namely, the affirmation of spirituality, civic spirit and good artistic taste.
In conclusion, I would like once again to congratulate you on this anniversary. I remind you, too, that any anniversary is an excellent occasion for launching new projects and new ambitious work. I am sure that the best and most interesting programmes are yet to come. For now, they are still in the thoughts and plans of the true professionals, the talented people who have always worked in television and always will.
I signed a Decree today on awarding state decorations to industry veterans, people who worked both on the creative and technical side and whose work laid the foundation of our television industry and made it the successfully developing sector that it is today.
From all my heart I wish you creative success, inspiration and luck.
I congratulate you on this anniversary.
Thank you for your attention.