• 14 November 2017
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Kremlin orders major companies to write upbeat news about Russia

The presidential administration sent Russian energy companies a seven-page guide on writing news about improved life in the country, as follows from the document obtained by Reuters.

"The life of most of our fellow citizens has become much calmer, more comfortable and interesting. Yet, many examples of this are often left out in the media," the document said.

The guide goes on saying that the news stream should form a "feed of positive news" and follow two patterns: "life is getting better" and "before / after". The emphasis should be made on new job opportunities and infrastructure facilities, as well as on the achievements of science, especially those the state supported. As an example, the document gives news about a creative festival for young people with hearing impairment in the Kaliningrad region, the opening of a sports and health complex in Karachaevo-Cherkessia and a brigade of Kuzbass miners that produced 1.6 million tons of coal.

The companies must submit the stories every Monday, Tuesday morning the latest. The news reports should be presented as a chart, and the added events should be highlighted in color. The guide asks the companies to put contact information of a person journalists could reach.

The instructions were addressed to 45 energy giants, including Rosneft, Gazprom, Novatek, Lukoil and Surgutneftegaz.

The document was circulated in early October. It was attached to invitations to a meeting where steps to improve the image of the authorities were to be discussed; which means that it was Sergei Kiriyenko, the first deputy head of the presidential administration, who proposed circulating the guide.


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