The 3rd Media Forum of the North Caucasus, organized by the 'Caucasus' Center for Contemporary Caucasian policy, started its work today in Pyatigorsk with the support of the apparatus of the plenipotentiary envoy of the Russian President in the North Caucasian Federal District. This was stated during the forum by the deputy chairman of the State Duma, deputy secretary of the General Council of United Russia and the coordinator of the Social Platform Party, Sergey Zheleznyak, that the main focus of the work of journalists in the North Caucasus remains resistance to extremist ideology.
"The forum is being held for the third time and it has become a traditional venue for the exchange of ideas and skills, identifying key areas of the industry which largely forms the image of the Caucasus. We are looking forward to fair, objective, interesting news from all over North Caucasus,’’ Zheleznyak said, noting that ''one of the most important tasks is resisting the destructive anti-human ideology professed by radical terrorists. They are still trying to continue to influence people living in North Caucasus,'' Tass cites him as saying.
The President of the Association of Veterans of Alpha, Sergey Goncharov, said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that he fully agreed with Sergei Zheleznyak.
''Daesh influence mostly those people who profess Islam, as well as Christians. The results prove the fact that they succeed in it. Many people from European countries, the CIS, from Russia (mainly from the North Caucasus) leave their countries to join Daesh. Therefore, in this situation Zheleznyak is absolutely right,'' the expert said.
He warned that the situation won’t change as long as Russia doesn’t create a successful counter-propaganda in the mass media and television.
''In my opinion, the most important thing is that we are losing the propaganda, especially in the mosques where the true followers of the religion pray,'' the president of the Alpha Association of Veterans said.
A nember of the forum, head of the department of higher journalistic skill MSLU Alan Kasaev, said in an interview with a VK correspondent that the mass media play a significant role in fighting extremism, but it is not their main goal.
"This is the environment that reflects the official position, but at the same time it cannot reflect alternative positions, i.e. it cannot reflect the viewpoints of terrorists, or circles which theoretically, or even practically, are close to terrorism."
"In this sense, I certainly agree with the person who made the statement. But on the other hand, being a professional journalist, I cannot agree that it is the main thing. The main task of journalists around the world, including in the North Caucasus, is to provide information. Key speakers may exaggerate at such thematic, or regional forums, noting that the main task of the journalists of the North Caucasus is the fight against terrorism. But the main task is information,’’ the head of the department of higher journalistic skills at Moscow State Linguistic University said.
Recall that the 3rd Forum Media SKFO was attended by more than 330 journalists from all regions of the North Caucasus and federal mass media, as well as representatives of the authorities and the public, experts and business communities. According to the organizers of the forum, "the main topics of discussion will be freedom of speech, safety of journalists and interaction between the mass media and the authorities."
It is planned to adopt a Memorandum of North Caucasus Journalists following the results of the forum.