'Journalism one of the most dangerous professions in Russia'

Journalism was one of the most dangerous professions in Russia, with instances of threats to reporters growing last year, a senior journalist said today.

"Journalism remained one of the most dangerous profession," Pavel Gusev, the editor-in-chief of the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper said.

He said that the recent murder of TV journalist Kazbek Gekkiyev, the presenter of the "Vesti. Kabardino-Balkaria" news program of the republican branch of the Russian State Radio and Television Company on December 5 last year was one of such high-profile crimes.

"Media representatives often face threats. Unfortunately, as a rule, police does not perceive threats made to journalists as a sufficient reason to start an investigation," Gusev also the head of Moscow Union of Journalists and a member of the Russian Public Chamber told Itar Tass.

According to the figures released by the Glasnost Protection Fund, instances of exerting pressure on journalists by means of threats increased to 55 in 2012.

He believes that nationalisation that hasn't yet started remains one of the thorniest problems for the media.

"Regional media outlets that are financially dependent on the local authorities are involuntarily deprived of an independent editorial policy," Gusev stressed, adding that budget infusions into state-run media created imbalances in the market and were a hindrance to competition.

Gusev called for the creation of a National Federation of Russian Press that could unite non-profit organisations in the media industry and defend the rights of journalists.

According to the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, Russia has over 90,000 officially registered media outlets, of which 40,000 are newspapers.

Russian Journalists are marking a holiday today in view of the 'Day of Russian Press' which coincides with with the publication of the first Russian printed newspaper "Vedomosti" (News) in 1703.

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