Medvedev praises journalists' contribution to society

Moscow, Jan 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Sunday congratulated journalists on their professional day, praising their contribution to the exercise of citizens' fundamental democratic rights and freedoms.

The Day of the Russian Press was established in 1991 and is celebrated Jan 13 every year.

The professional journalists' holiday coincides with a historical date when the first issue of Russian newspaper Vedomosti was published Jan 13, 1703 by a decree of tsar Peter the Great.

"Everyday news and analytical materials, which are published in the press, the internet media and broadcast on radio and television, shape people's views in many ways," Medvedev said.

"Importantly, they reflect quite diverse positions and help resolve particular problems."

The profession of a journalist requires not only talent and skills but also personal courage. The media workers' contribution is important for the development of society and the state, Medvedev said.

Russia is the third most dangerous country in the world for reporters, after Algeria and Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent New York-based watchdog.

A total of 341 journalists were killed or reported missing in Russia over the 20 years since the end of the Soviet Union, according to the Russian Union of Journalists.

--IANS/RIA Novosti



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