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Russia to weigh options for public broadcast service

Russia is moving ahead with plans to develop a public television service, with detailed plans based on two possible models to be presented to President Dmitry Medvedev by March 1.

The first option envisages the creation of a public TV channel based on an existing service, while the second would see the creation of an entirely new service.

The project is being driven by the office of president Medvedev, who recently called for the creation of a public broadcast service, possible licence-fee funded, on the model seen in other countries. The Russian government has interests, directly or indirectly, in a number of existing broadcasters, but none have the status of a public service.

Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the presidential council on the civil society, said that the project could funded by existing broadcasters. One option could be for the state to acquire overall control of an existing channel.

Tags: Russia