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29 April 2022

Alexander Zharov at SPIEF-2021: Legislative regulation of bloggers not on the agenda

A panel session called “Bloggers: A new media?” was held on June 3 as part of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum’s business program. Gazprom-Media Holding organised the panel session. The event’s participants discussed the regulation of blogging, the influence of the blogosphere on the young generations, the bloggers’ place among traditional media and whether it is possible to classify bloggers as mass media.

The discussion’s participants included Gazprom-Media Holding CEO Alexander Zharov, founder of Comedy Club Production Artur Dzhanibekyan, deputy head for public projects at the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation Alexander Zhuravsky, editor-in-chief of Esquire Russia Sergey Minaev, bloggers Konstantin Zarutsky and Alexey Savko, executive director of media at Rambler Group Andrey Tsyper, CEO of STS Media Vyacheslav Murugov, among others. Journalist and TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak moderated the session.

According to Gazprom-Media Holding’s CEO Alexander Zharov, the legislative regulation of bloggers is not on the agenda since they are not mass media.    

“I will break the paradigm: bloggers are not mass media. Let’s take a look at the law on mass media. Bloggers do not have an editorial office. They are the authors of mass communications, which are shaping a new environment. Bloggers have definitely become leaders in the public eye. This media community is still in the formation phase, so the information cannot be trusted. Some of them will become mass media in the coming years, while others sink into oblivion.”
Alexander Zharov CEO of Gazprom-Media Holding

Gazprom-Media Holding’s CEO reminded event participants that a blogger, like any Russian citizen, must act in accordance with Russian laws.

Alexander Zharov also noted that “the online sphere looks completely like the 1990s right now: shady money, shady audience”.  

“However, there are two bills that can solve this problem. The first is the bill to measure online indicators, which the industry is in need of. The second is the “grounding law”, according to which branches of foreign technology companies must work in Russia because foreign platforms advertise with us, but that money goes to the USA. Taxes must be paid here. The question is always about money: where there is money, there will be regulation.”
Alexander Zharov CEO of Gazprom-Media Holding