The Kremlin is planning to set up its own publishing company with a conservative-leaning news angle, Kommersant has reported, citing Dmitry Badovsky, Director of the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies Foundation (ISEPI), and formerly Deputy Chief of the Internal Policy Department in the President’s Administration.
The founder of the new entity will be ISEPI. “Now we need a certain news medium that ideologically would compete with such giants as the Kommersant and Vedomosti, and reflect an alternative point of view,” Badovsky said, adding that the strategy to develop the media resources will be defined “closer to this fall.” The ISEPI Director didn’t rule out that the new medium could be based on the existing platforms such as Vzglyad.ru and Dni.ru.
According to the plan, the new entity should become an equivalent of the Europe Publishing House, which used to publish books under the auspices of Gleb Pavlovsky’s Foundation for Effective Politics. According to some sources, the mastermind of that project was Vladislav Surkov.
Pavlovsky was skeptical about the project, saying that there are no similarities between the Europe Publishing House and the new Kremlin entity:
“All these are a project of the so-called Popular Front. Nothing but PR…Our target audience was the young urban politician; not an official in a narrow sense, but the UNF (United Popular Front) is nothing but an organization by and for such officials, and the government strategy is to narrow the political regime base down to direct submission to the leader,” Pavlovsky said.
At present, ISEPI owns the Odnako Publishing House (which publishes Mikhail Leontiev’s magazine under the same name), Kontr-TV, LLC (launched to compete with the Dozhd TV), as well as the Vzglyad, LLC, and Popular Literature, LLC by Konstantin and Elena Rykov, who publish online resources Vzglyad.ru and Dni.ru.
Vedomosti and Kommersant are among the most respected Russian print media. They traditionally top the ratings published by the Medialogy company. In April, for the first time ever, the top position was taken by the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia.