Ricardo Roa, Deputy executive editor of Clarin (Argentina)
Commentary on the Russian supplement Rusia Hoy, which is published monthly inside Clarin:
«For us this could be called a historic experience. “Historic” is of course an important, almost solemn, word. But the fact that Clarin, which has existed in Argentina for 60 years and is the most authoritative and popular publication, can publish a monthly supplement devoted to Russia is a significant and unprecedented event for Argentina. There has never been anything like it. We are proud that we can report first-hand and top-quality information to our readers on what is happening in a region which is so far from Argentina and at the same time so important for the whole world».
«Of course, we had doubts about what it would look like. You might like to call that prejudice… We were worried about whether this would really be journalism, not propaganda: it’s one thing to disseminate information about events, notes and various developments, to talk about what’s happening in Russia in a way that puts your government in the best light, but it’s quite another to tell our readers about those same developments and analyse them from an independent point of view. But that’s exactly what we’ve managed to do! Today the RG supplement is completely in line with what our paper does. And this happens completely naturally: we’ve built up a normal relationship. That is, readers who read the Rusia Hoy supplement in Clarin are reading news, analysis and commentary in exactly the same way, and seeing the same parameters and criteria of quality, as they would find when reading the other news in the paper».
«Of course, there was an initial stage in the work on the supplement when we and the Russian publishers were getting to know each other. It wasn’t always easy. After all, we have very different cultures and histories, and we’re different in very many ways. But we also have something in common; there’s something that unites journalists the world over: particular concepts, criteria, views. And this is precisely what enabled us to have a dialogue and explained a lot. We were able to learn more about what the Russian publishers and journalists expected of the project. And we ourselves were in turn able to convey to our Russian partners the requirements and interests of Argentinian readers. And as a result, when we added our explanations of the Argentinian specifics to the aims of the Russian publishers, we began to understand each other a lot better and to know each other better. And we are having more discussion, in a more fruitful way, of exactly what material we should be offering our readers».
«You’re asking me about the importance of the supplement. Above all I would like to note that the material we’re publishing today can be used by other news agencies and press publications like Clarin. That is very important in itself, because we are not publishing secondary material, or as they say, material that’s past its best. The material we publish can be quoted by any media. And that’s very important, because this is the first time a publication has appeared in which Russia is not talking about itself as if it’s an advertising booklet, and is not engaging in propaganda. We are publishing serious journalistic material which can be used in one way or another by other media. We are conveying information and news and commenting on events in Russia, and other news agencies can use this material. This is information which other media can use and quote. In Argentina today we’re getting to know more and more about Russia for a whole range of reasons. There are traditional political and economic reasons for this. Moreover, in today’s world everything is interconnected, and these connections are getting closer. I understand that this is not a very original thought, but it’s true. And the fact that in this interconnected world we have the opportunity to receive video reports, facts and reportage from Russia at first hand, as it were, is undoubtedly very important for a people who, as you know, are very close to Europe. Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city which has grown and taken shape as a merging of various cultures. And now, thanks to Rusia Hoy (Russia Now), Argentineans are discovering today’s Russia afresh for themselves».
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