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"The delivery of the press must be compensated by the state"

"The delivery of the press must be compensated by the state"

Maria Khristoforova, General Director of Cityim Media Group LLC:

- Recently, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation discussed a problem that all the Far Eastern print media, without exception, have been facing for several months. We are talking about innovations on the part of the Russian Post, which led to a sharp rise in the cost of subscription services to magazines and newspapers. The result of this policy was a real drop in subscriptions to publications - many residents of the Far East simply could not afford the new prices for the media.

An example is the situation in MG Cityim. The media group publishes 5 newspapers and 5 magazines in the Yakut and Russian languages, occupies a leading place in the information space of the republic.

Since 2004, the Yakut mass media have achieved high results in expanding the geography of distribution of periodicals: newspapers and magazines - from 59245 copies. in 2004 up to 152500 copies. in 2013. According to the results of the subscription campaign in the 2nd half of 2014, after a sharp increase in postage rates, the subscription to the republican media compared to 2013 has decreased almost twice - from 152500 to 79670 copies. According to the results of the subscription campaign in the 1st half of 2015, the total republican subscription increased slightly and amounted to only 84576 copies.

The population of our republic mainly receives reliable information from newspapers and magazines. Residents in the districts have low incomes. Therefore, with an increase in postal services, subscription volumes drop sharply. If the total subscription of MG Cityim in 2012 amounted to 96620 copies. newspapers and magazines, after increasing postal services by 15% in the second half of 2013 decreased to 70833 copies. And according to the results of the subscription campaign in the second half of 2, when postal services grew by another 2014%, subscription to IG Cityim publications dropped to 53 copies.

Russian Post applies the principle of territorial zoning when conducting a subscription campaign in the country. There are three such zones in Yakutia. The most expensive subscription is in the 3rd zone, that is, in the arctic regions. If the subscription price of the newspaper "Kyym" for 1 month to the addressee for the 1st zone is 194,72 rubles, then for the 3rd zone - 271,19 rubles. At the same time, in comparison with zone 1, postal services to the addressee in the Arctic zone grow by 92 percent, i.e. almost twice - from 84,72 rubles for zone 1, to 161,19 rubles for the Arctic zone. Due to the persistence of high subscription prices, the subscription institution has practically collapsed over the past 20 years in the Arctic regions. In 2013, the subscription to republican periodicals was as follows: in Bulunsky district there were 375 newspapers and magazines, Allaikhovsky - 230, Nizhnekolymsky - 181 copies. In the central regions, where the delivery is more streamlined the following picture: in Ust-Aldansky ulus - 5563, in Nyurbinsky - 7553, Namsky - 3754 copies.

Loss of a readership is a loss of interaction within our society, total isolation of those who live in hard-to-reach areas. In addition, a reduction in the readership is a direct loss of the publishing house, a decrease in its economic independence and independence. In case of redundancies - unemployment of many journalists, printers and other specialists in related industries. Agree, the task of the publishing house is to produce an information product for which there will be demand. And supplying remote villages with these goods is the concern of the state. After all, our state carries coal, diesel fuel, and food to the North. Huge subsidies go to energy - no one even stutters about shifting the cost of electricity to local residents - and rightly so: it will come out at 30-40 rubles per kilowatt! Kilowatts, heat and hot water are a must. Information, too. Therefore, if someone in a remote village expresses a desire to subscribe to the media, he should be able to get the publication at an affordable price, and it is perfectly reasonable that the delivery should be compensated by the state.

At the level of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, this topic interested Marina Bogoslovskaya, a member of the OP RF. She explained that “the hike in tariffs has led to a catastrophic fall in subscriptions across the country. That is, in just a year, print runs of print media will collapse by almost 50%, ”Bogoslovskaya said. According to her, the issue of preserving social functions by Russian Post is especially acute, since for residents of remote settlements, subscription to newspapers and magazines is the only way to access print media, and for publishers in the regions, the implementation of subscriptions is almost the only way to survive ...

A member of the RF OP said that in April 2014, the All-Russian Popular Front, with the support of the Public Chamber, held a media forum "Truth and Justice", which considered the issue of a stalemate with subscriptions in the country. Marina Bogoslovskaya stressed that following the Forum, Vladimir Putin instructed the Government of the Russian Federation to develop a system of priority distribution of Rospechat grants for regional and municipal media implementing socially important projects. “As we can see, this order was never carried out,” she said.

Marina Bogoslovskaya also recalled that in order to normalize the situation with subscriptions, the Public Chamber conducted a public examination of the draft law "On Postal Communications" and developed the following proposals: to charge the Russian Post with the responsibility of organizing subscriptions and delivering subscriptions throughout the Russian Federation ; establish that the tariffs for subscription and delivery services for periodicals distributed by subscription are regulated by the state; to consolidate the relevant provisions in the draft Federal Law "On Postal Communication".

In addition, Marina Bogoslovskaya suggested adding three more points to these proposals, namely: to impute to Russian Post the responsibility for the timeliness and quality of delivery of periodicals to the subscriber's mailing address; abolish the principle of territorial zoning when determining the tariffs of the subscription company for the Arctic zone and other hard-to-reach areas; and also take measures to support children's publications in the national languages ​​of the peoples of the Russian Federation.

The periodical press still occupies a leading position in Russia, especially in the provinces. If our government regularly declares the development of the Far East and Siberia, why does it overlook such a burning issue, as the prices for the most reliable and basic source of information - newspapers and magazines?

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