The English Press in Russia
Photo Sergei Tarasov
February 24 saw another lively and interesting lecture in the English Language Evenings series: a discussion on the state of the English-language press in Russia, given by Maxine Maters, publisher of The Moscow Times from 2004 to 2008. Maters talk focused mainly on her experience with The Moscow Times (founded in 1992), which has a circulation of 35,000, a readership of approximately three times that number, and a staff of around 170. According to Maters, The Moscow Times is not subject to government pressure, as many expect. The problems it does face stem largely from its delicate relationship with the world of Russian business. Maters considers Russia to be a relatively open environment for the press, and disagreements sometimes arise in the editorial office between local staff members and those from abroad, many of whom are descended from Soviet ИmigrИs and thus have a significantly difficult approach to Russian politics and life. In response to questions regarding the newspaper s stance on matters such as the conflict with Georgia, Maters described the strict editorial policies in place to maintain objectivity; in spite of this, the newspaper is proud to have had the first opinion page in Russia, an area in which it continues to be strong. The main difficulty currently facing The Moscow Times is loss of advertising revenue as PR budgets are slashed across the world. However, having already survived one economic crisis, Maters is fairly certain the newspaper can survive another.
Maxine Maters is originally from Holland, and has lived in Russia since 1993. Before The Moscow Times she worked for the law journal Kollegia. For more information on forthcoming ELE events visit www.elemoscow.net. Dominic Esler