Saturday, August 27, 2016


Wannabe Russian News Anchors Flub News Test

Russian Public Television news executives were disappointed at the level of knowledge of current affairs displayed by some of the people who auditioned to be a news anchor.  (screenshot)
Russian Public Television news executives were disappointed at the level of knowledge of current affairs displayed by some of the people who auditioned to be a news anchor. (screenshot)
Auditions for newscasters at Russian Public Television (OTR) yielded some unexpected surprises about how little applicants know about their country and the world.

In addition to reading sample news reports, prospective anchors were asked a series of questions, ranging from "what is ambition?" to "what form of government does Spain have?" Some of the auditions were made public in a video on OTR's website. 

WATCH: OTR news anchor auditions (in Russian)

Some of the most creative responses came in response to the question, "Who was Sergei Magnitsky?"

Here is an example of some of the more outlandish answers given:

Sergei Magnitsky, while he was in beautiful Cambodia, got into a dispute with local fishermen.

He had acid sprayed in his face.

He was poisoned and died in the United States of America.

Sergei Magnitsky was denied permission to leave Great Britain.

Sergei Magnitsky was a child who was adopted in America and the boy was locked in a truck through the carelessness of his parents.

In truth, Magnitsky was a whistle-blowing lawyer who died in a Moscow jail while in pretrial detention in 2009.

Rights activists around the world charge that he died because he was not given adequate medical treatment.

He is currently posthumously facing charges of tax evasion and fraud in a Moscow court.

Some applicants were also unable to say where the Volga River flows and couldn’t give a sensible definition of the word "ambitious."

The responses left OTR General Director Anatoly Lysenko pretty frustrated.

"I'm sad,” he said. “A journalist must be an educated, curious, and inquisitive person. And a journalist must read -- and read as much as possible. He needs to get his information from books and not from Wikipedia."

The creation of Russian Public Television was one of the innovations of former President Dmitry Medvedev.

According to the decree establishing it, OTR was supposed to begin as a "free and accessible channel without censorship or advertising" on January 1.

Although the channel's website is up and running, the broadcast debut has been pushed back to March 19.

-- Central Newsroom
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Comment Sorting
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
February 19, 2013 14:36
An interesting video, of course :-)). What it reminded me of is one story that someone I know told me about her experience in the US state of Maine: a director of one local high-school was intereviewing the person in question and she told him a little bit about herself, about the fact that she was from AUSTRIA and that she spent some time in INDIA. After which the director of the US high school in question quite SERIOUSLY asked her whether those two were NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES :-))). I am sure that he would get a job if he applied to be a TV anchor for one of the US TV channels :-))).

by: john from: canada
February 19, 2013 22:46
Even experienced tv newscasters sometimes have problems, like this Russian-language announcer in Toronto, Canada, trying to explain why there are 13 bears guarding a marijuana grow-op in British Columbia.

English subs and to followup - the bears and pig are healthy and still around - and probably the grow-op is back in business too...

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