The XII International Media-Forum of young journalists of Eurasia «Dialogue of Cultures» was opened in the State Hermitage Museum.
The solemn opening ceremony started with the Hymn of St. Petersburg presented by the students of the Glinka Choir College.
«Dialogue of Cultures» traditionally started with the welcoming remarks. Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Director-General of the State Hermitage museum, was given the floor to speak first. He respectfully marked that the directorship of the museum has been providing the Forum with the venue for all 12 years of its existence. «We have a lot of complaints about the journalists because of their uncertainty and inclination to sensation, but it could not be compared with the love to the real culture. These meetings in Hermitage have to form the ongoing civilizational atmosphere that should last forever».
For the 12 years of the Forum’s existence it was visited by more than 2000 journalists. This time more than 350 journalists from 30 countries were gathered in the State Hermitage Museum. Alexander Govorunov, Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg, also emphasized: «It is so significant to see and to hear each other. Especially for you, journalists – people, who influence the mood of the public. Only in a dialogue a peace could be found, and the leading role belongs here to the journalists. During these 2 days you will have a unique opportunity to make your own reports and to hold shootings in the State Hermitage Museum and in St. Petersburg».
The participants of the Forum were the first to see the trailer of the joint project of young Russian and Ukrainian journalists «Two countries – One profession» supported by the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media – Harlem Désir. Mr. Désir also addressed with a speech to the young media representatives: «We are trying to help journalists from all the countries to preserve the freedom of the media; we are collaborating not only with the OSCE authorities, but also with the various journalists to maintain the space of freedom».
The theme of the First Session of the Practical conference «The dialogue of cultures in the media space od Eurasia» lead to a discussion of how the coverage of this or that culture in media imminently turns into propaganda.
«It is easier to say that the opinion, which I have read in the newspaper, is propaganda. More complicated thing is to understand and to accept it», Vladimir Soloviev, Secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists told.
Could the journalism and political journalism, literature and propaganda coexist? The editor-in-chief of the «Ogonek» magazine Sergey Agafonov and the editor-in-chief of the web-portal «Svobodnya Press» Sergey Shargunov also shared their opinion concerning this issue. The presenter of the First Session Ashot Dzhazoyan concluded all previously mentioned with a short and succinct quote of Mark Tven: «The truth must be served like a coat, and not thrown in the face like a wet towel».
The first day also included the presentation of the cross-border multimedia projects. For example, All-Russia multimedia project «I Live in Russia» has already united young journalists from different regions of Russia. They are gathering the stories about the ordinary people of their country on one platform, and encourage their colleagues to join the collaboration.
Innovational media platform was also introduced to the audience by Alexandre Tabbakh, PUBLIQ Foundation CEO, from France. He suggested journalists to publish on this blockchain system, where all incomes will be shared between the authors in accordance with their ranking and the reputation within the audience, for free.
At the first day of the Forum’s work special signs «For a huge contribution to the Dialogue of Cultures» were also presented. «The day of good deeds» project, launched by the 5 Channel, took the first place in the nomination «New formats of dialogue with the society»; «Ogonek» magazine was nominated as «The media outlet that contributed most to the development of the interview format»; Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director-General of the State Hermitage Museum, was awarded with a sign as «The person who contributed most to the art of leading a dialogue». Aside from this, Johan Vanderplaetse, Head of the Russian–Belgian business-club, President of Schneider Electric in Russia/CIS's, was awarded with a sign in nomination «Smart Future. New dialogue of a new generation».