The US Radio Liberty followed suit at the end of 2012. However, a loud scandal broke out around the reforms in the radio company, as a result of which the company’s President Steve Korn announced that he was stepping down on the 25th of January.
Announcer: The formal reason for Steve Korn’s resignation is his wish to spend more time with his family. However, last December the media broadcast the news that the decision to dismiss Korn was made by the US Broadcasting Board of Governors to which Radio Liberty is subordinated. The decision was made because Korn was accused of having disorganized the radio company’s Russian service. Andrey Allahverdov, editor-in-chief of the Foundation for Independent Radio Broadcasting is speaking:
“The transition of the radio to the Internet is absolutely unavoidable. All the media are involved in this process but it is different in each individual case.”
The Washington Post has announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible for these developments. Someone else sees the root of evil in the law of foreign investments adopted in Russia in 2011. According to that document, a company broadcasting on the Russian air should only have 48% of foreign core capital. Radio Liberty exceeds this limit and for this reason it has lost the license for broadcasting. At the same time, no one mentions the fact that in the US, as well as, for example, in Greece, Spain, Thailand or Ukraine the share of foreign capital in TV and radio broadcasting companies should not exceed 25%.
The head of the Chair of the New Media and the Communications Theory at the Journalism Department of Moscow State University Ivan Zasursky is speaking:
“Americans’ priorities are shifting. They are more concerned about China, South-East Asia, Syria and the Arab world now. They have no time for serious information battles in Russia, so the role of Radio Liberty is diminishing.”
Meanwhile, President of Radio Liberty Steve Korn and the head of the Moscow office Masha Gessen are convinced that the radio station needs change badly.
Russian journalist and public figure Alexey Chadayev is speaking:
“Frankly speaking, with the Echo of Moscow and the Russian News Service, Radio Liberty did not stand out on the air at all. As for the contents, they are rather an old-fashioned propaganda radio. Their only chance of survival on today’s market is to provide better quality contents.”