MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Russian journalists with their professional day, praising their contribution to the exercise of citizens’ fundamental democratic rights and freedoms, the government press office reported on Sunday.
The Day of the Russian Press was established in 1991 and is celebrated on January 13 every year. The professional journalists’ holiday coincides with a historical date when on January 13, 1703 the first issue of the Russian newspaper Vedomosti was published by decree of Peter the Great.
“Everyday news and analytical materials, which are published in the press, the Internet media and broadcast on radio and television, shape people’s views in many ways. Importantly, they reflect quite diverse positions and help resolve particular problems,” the prime minister said in his congratulation.
The profession of a journalist requires not only talent and skills but also personal courage. The media workers’ contribution is important for the development of society and the state, Medvedev said.
Russia is the third most dangerous country in the world for reporters, after Algeria and Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent New York-based watchdog.
A total of 341 journalists were killed or reported missing in Russia over the 20 years since the Soviet Union’s demise, according to the data of the Russian Union of Journalists.