13 Jan 2020 13:03

Govt subsidies to press top 550 mln rubles in 2019 - Rospechat

MOSCOW. Jan 13 (Interfax) - Over 700 Russian newspapers and magazines received more than 550 million rubles as federal budget subsidies for socially significant projects last year, a representative of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media (Rospechat) told Interfax in a statement.

"In 2019, subsidies totaling 556.1 million rubles were granted to 706 newspapers and magazines in 68 constituent territories of the Russian Federation. The printed media outlets invested the subsidies in more than 1,240 socially significant projects," the statement said.

As in previous years, the Expert Board of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media put emphasis on supporting regional press: beneficiaries of the subsidies included about 600 regional media outlets, whose projects were supported with 465.5 million rubles or 83% of all funds.

The subsidies were granted to media outlets for children and teenagers, literary, cultural, and educational newspapers and magazines, popular science publications, and sociopolitical outlets. In 2019, subsidies were granted to 74 publications for children and teenagers and 98 newspapers and magazines released in national languages.

Socially significant projects of printed media outlets, which received state subsidies, popularized important dates of national history and culture, promoted the moral and spiritual development of the younger generation, and supported families and children, in addition to focusing on the Year of Theater, healthy lifestyle, reading, protection of civil rights, promotion of inter-ethnic communication, environmental issues, information support for national projects, anti-corruption measures, and other matters.

The agency's Expert Board, which comprises representatives of the presidential administration, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media, Rospechat, relevant agencies of regional authorities, the Russian Union of Journalists, civil media organizations, and industry professionals, processes about 1,500 applications from printed media outlets annually. Some 80% of applications are accepted, the statement said.

Publications operating as autonomous non-profit organizations may apply for presidential grants.

Throughout the world either direct or indirect support is given to the press, and Russia is using both formats. Direct support implies subsidies from federal, regional, and municipal budgets. Indirect support manifests itself as the 10% discounted VAT rate for printed media devoted to education, science, and culture and discounted newsprint prices, it said.

The Russian Press Day is observed on January 13. The holiday was established by the Supreme Council Presidium on December 28, 1991, to celebrate the first issue of the first Russian newspaper, Vedomosti, founded on the orders of Peter the Great on January 2, 1703 (the Old Style date).