martedì 2 novembre 2010

Voice of Russia conquers time and space

The Voice of Russia radio station is celebrating its birthday. 81 years ago today Moscow started broadcasting to other countries. All this time we have been telling people about life in Russia, giving them a vivid picture of everything that is happening in our country.

Today the Voice of Russia is still in the top five most popular world radio stations. It is a radio with its own history, traditions and unique working style; it is a modern, witty and sometimes biting media outlet.

On October 29, 1929 the world first heard the words: This is Moscow!

This saw the emergence of a completely new phenomenon: international radio broadcasting, a radio without borders. Moscow Radio began to broadcast programs in German and later in other European languages. It was only three years later that the second international radio - the BBC - emerged and several years later the Voice of America came.

Today the staff of the Voice of Russia comprises about 1,000 reporters, observers, announcers, political analysts, program directors and hosts.  Our crew is doing its best to maintain and grow its audience. We now broadcast in 41 languages for more than 150 hours a day.

Through 500 programs we tell more than 100 million listeners in 170 countries about modern life Russia, as well as its history, its culture, its domestic and foreign policies.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko notes that today's Voice of Russia actively uses multimedia tools to always be in touch with listeners all over the world.

"The Voice of Russia is a rapidly developing company, which uses the latest technical means to provide its listeners with information about life in Russia. It is very important to us that the Voice of Russia broadcasts Russia's view of other countries' foreign policies. I should also note that the number of visitors to the station's website has significantly increased with the introduction of multimedia technologies there. In essence, age is an advantage rather than a disadvantage for a mass media outlet, because the better its reputation, the bigger its audience." - Yakovenko says.

Today the Voice of Russia counts on new technologies. "Thanks to multimedia technologies, we are no longer limited to sound, we can also communicate with pictures, text and video" Andrei Bystritsky, chairman of the Voice of Russia, says.

"What was relevant when the Voice of Russia first started is not relevant today. The Comintern is dead, the socialist or communist chimera has been obliterated. First and foremost, today's Voice of Russia broadcasts should be interesting. We need to be competent, to be timely, witty and sometimes biting. In other words, we have to boggle the audience's mind. The new multimedia communication environment which we live in is evolving. The most important thing is quality and an entirely new paradigm of engaging with the audience. This is the main task." - Bystritsky stresses.

The Voice of Russia is rightfully considered to be one of the leaders in global radio broadcasting and the pioneer of Russian digital broadcasting. Moreover, the programs of the Voice of Russia can be listened to via mobile phone and the company continues to look for new forms of development, Bystritsky says.

"Our company has many FM-stations in the CIS - about 90, so we cover virtually all of this space. We also have FM-broadcasting in the Balkans, in the Iraqi Kurdistan, in Afghanistan, Turkey and many other countries.  FM is an easily accessible and good-quality radio format. We also have such transmitters in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Incidentally, there are currently talks about commencing FM-broadcasting in Germany.We should also develop our broadcasting in the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian languages."

In over 80 years of the Voice of Russia's broadcasting, the nature of the radio service and its content underwent changes that were dictated by the situation in the country and in the world. But the essence of our information policy has stayed the same - to build bridges between countries and to foster dialogue between nations, Russian political journalism veteran Valentin Zorin says.

"81 years is a very long time time. But I would say that the main principle of our work has remained the same. It is articulated in our station's name - the Voice of Russia. We are trying to establish a dialogue, to be heard, without sounding irritating or apologetic. Instead, we try to maintain the kind of tone that is warranted by a normal situation in the modern world. I think that this new tone for the Voice of Russia is one of the tasks we are trying to solve today. Is the Voice of Russia in demand? I am convinced it is in great demand, because people all over the world want to know the truth about one of the biggest nations, which is a great influence on the climate of the modern world."

The Voice of Russia is also unique because of the high calibre of its professionals. Many world-famous journalists, politicians and public personalities, including Evgeny Primakov, Vladimir Pozner, Vlad Listyev, Alexander Lyubimov and many others began their careers at the Voice of Russia.

Journalists who worked in international broadcasting were always considered to be cream of the profession.

The fact that many journalists devoted virtually their entire lives to the Voice of Russia is priceless, because young professionals who join our radio station are able to learn from the worthiest of teachers.

Our radio has always been a stage for sounding different points of view on domestic and foreign issues, and the Voice of Russia will continue to be open to its listeners, wherever they are. And very often, they become our friends for life.