Visit to Rossiya Segodnya 2016-06-07 13:20:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin visited the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency to congratulate journalists on the agency’s 75th anniversary and speak at the New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream international media forum. The President also attended the presentation of German journalist Hubert Seipel’s book, Putin. Inside View of Power, at Rossiya Segodnya and spoke with the author. One of the oldest news agencies in Russia began its history as the legendary Sovinformburo information agency, which opened two days after the start of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is an international media group, whose mission is to provide a prompt, balanced and objective coverage of what is happening in the world, and inform the audience about different perspectives on key events. The New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream international media forum, organised by Rossiya Segodnya is attended by experts from many countries, including the United States, Britain, France, China, India, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The debate focuses on the role of journalism in the modern world, as well as the current state of the mass media as a profession and an industry. * * * Address at the New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream international media forum President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I would like to begin by congratulating the Rossiya Segodnya team on the upcoming special occasion, the Agency’s 75th anniversary. The Agency began its history in June 1941 as the legendary Sovinformburo, which opened two days after the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, unfailingly supplying the latest reports from the battlegrounds. Millions of people in this country, the Soviet Union, and throughout the world found hope and faith in the eventual defeat of the common enemy, the Nazis, listening to the unforgettable voice of Yury Levitan. Sovinformburo was later transformed into the Novosti Press Agency, then RIA Novosti and finally the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency. Over the years, they represented our country in the international media space, always working to provide prompt and complete news updates. Over the past few years, Rossiya Segodnya correspondents have won prestigious international and Russian awards in photography, broadcast journalism, design and social projects. Once again, I would like to say that your media group is rapidly developing a system of modern editorial centers abroad (as your director has just shown me), offering your audience their content in various formats and in more than 30 languages; there are such bureaus in 32 countries now. Every day, the flagship Rossiya Segodnya website works as a reliable source of news for two million people, which puts this resource at the very top among Russian-language news resources in terms of audience size. I sincerely wish the Rossiya Segodnya team to keep up their exceptional performance and to maintain and develop the rich traditions of Russian journalism. I would also like to thank all the Russian and foreign participants of the forum for their valuable input and cooperation. As I know, you have spent two days discussing a variety of issues, especially the role of the media in the changing world, exchanged opinions, concerns and problems. A direct conversation between colleagues is always useful. Today's media landscape is strewn with acute, complex issues that certainly need to be addressed and dealt with. You spoke during the forum about what journalism is today. Yet, it is something that does not change all that much from one day to another; in essence, journalism is a quest for the truth. In the modern world, with information technologies developing so rapidly, your most important job remains to achieve information integrity and truthfulness, and as I said earlier, unbiased reporting. These are the most important things. It is certainly important for the authorities in all countries to ensure the freedom of information. I believe that many of us in this room would agree that the situation must not be allowed when authorities protect the information they like, and then they cite the freedom of information and freedom of the press, while dismissing things they do not like as propaganda of certain political groups or campaigns for the interests of specific countries. Information should be objective in every respect and not be subjected to any repressive action or tampered with. Back to Rossiya Segodnya, I very much hope that your agency will continue, as it has in previous years, its objective coverage of domestic and international politics, of the Russian economy as an attractive investment destination, and of our rich multi-ethnic culture while at the same time presenting your audience with a wide scope of opinions and perspectives. I would like to thank you again and congratulate you on your upcoming anniversary. Thank you.