Putin said Russia's optimal development will come only through genuine
debate and discussion about policy.
Critics have accused the Putin
administration of centralizing power and stiffling independent media
and the oppposition in recent years.
Russian Regional Television
Floriana Fossato speaking at RFE/RL on March 22 (RFE/RL)
IS THE KREMLIN MOVING IN? On March 22, FLORIANA FOSSATO, a political analyst with University College London who specializes in Russian-media issues, gave a briefing at RFE/RL's Washington headquarters. Fossato noted that there are some 1,500 television companies in the Russia regions, approzimately half of them privately owned. She argued that the tone and detail of national events covered on local television often differs markedly from the way the same events are framed by the more directly controlled national television channels. She outlined Kremlin efforts, including the creation of a new state-owned national television channel for the regions and new advertising regulations, that could signal a concerted effort to make Russia's "information space" more uniform in the run-up to national elections in 2007 and 2008.
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