A Terrible Gossip

On Friday 18th of April the metropolitan russion newspaper “ Moscow correspondent” was closed. Officially, the reason to stop the activities of publication was the termination of its funding. Non oficial version mentiones that newspaper was closed because of the gossip it passed out. The Gossip about Russian president and his mistress, actually, it was about the upcoming wedding of Russian President Vladimir Putin and gymnast Alina Kabaeva. Isn’t that means, that politicians in Russia have a great influence on the media department and can control or even close businesses if they writing about something personal? Or the newspaper didn’t have enough money and sponsor and this was a real reason, why it has closed? Despite the fact that the views on this subject were divided, it is impossible to recognize the correct option. The only option to decide on which side the truth is , to show all details of this event.

«Moscow correspondent» — newspaper published from 1 September 2007 to 29 October 2008 (with a break in April — September 2008). The main topics of the newspaper — Moscow and her life. Originally «Moscow correspondent» was published daily, except Sundays and Mondays. Since September 30, 2008 and before the closing of newspaper was published in the format of the weekly circulation of 20,000 copies. The rumors about romance between 55-year-old Vladimir Putin and 24-year-old Alina Kabaeva walked by Moscow for several months, but until the «Moscow correspondent» (the existence of which in the capital knew very few people) no journalists dared write about this. This is a fairly young edition that was positioned not as a tabloid, but rather as a social and political, which are in the opposition to the city authorities. The edition was financed by oligarch Alexander Lebedev, known for his opposition to the elections in Moscow against Yuri Luzhkov. Lebedev, by the way, finances and «Novaya Gazeta», authoritative and sufficient opposition publication of federal level. Perhaps this is why the news disseminated by Russian media and some foreign editions. Information was received from some of the capital of the company, specialsing in organization of corporate events. According to an unnamed interlocutor among capital firms was organized closed tender for the right to host the wedding of Putin and Kabaeva April 18 at a press conference in Italy Vladimir Putin quite harshly denied the the published information. «There is not one word of truth in what you have said,» he told reporters. «I have always reacted negatively to those who, with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies, prowl into others’ lives.» On the same day the publicatione was closed and the oficiall website was also ahuted down. Leadership of the «National media companies», which belongs to the «Moscow correspondent» announced that the reason for the closure were the differences with the team on the concept of publication; «There is no question about any political background for the decision to suspend the newspaper’s publication,» he said. «We will decide on a new direction for the newspaper and a business plan for its development in the near future.»

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It is a very suspicious coincidence, when the newspaper are declared closed immediately after causing indignation at the head of the country; circumstances force us to think that the certainly is not that simple. But without a doubt, noone in Russia would believe to this explanation; a few newspaper was closed after a few hours after Putin in his usual manner said that the publication was not a word of truth and made fun from the journalists. Incidentally, this is not the first closing of the newspapper that Cremlin doesn’t like. The newspaper «Saratov Reporter» denied a license only for the fact that it published a collage, where Vladimir Putin was portrayed as standartenfuehrer of Shtirlitsa in the form of SS. This newspaper even before had regularly criticize the government and party «United Russia».

The decision to publish the sensational material was taken by chief editor, without consulting neither with the main shareholder of «Moscow correspondent» Alexander Lebedev, nor with the CEO Artem Artemov. All these things happened on the eve of Putin’s inauguration, when he should become a head of the party “United Russia”. Suddenly, in the Saturday’s issue of the newspaper «Moscow correspondent» was an article about the supposed divorce of Vladimir Putin in February and his upcoming wedding with Alina Kabaeva; in fact, Putin divorced his wife only five years later in 2013. There were some remarks that were contested by the people, who were working in this newspaper. They were arguing, whether the article about wedding were written with a lot of questions marks. That means there were no statements, accordingly, there were no needs to believe in this information or perceived as the original source. If the article was just someone’s conjecture why it began to react so violently? Why the newspaper was closed immediately after a few days after the release of the innocent assumption, which was located in the so-called yellow department?

General Director of «National media companies» Artyom Artemov announced the decision to «suspend» edition of the newspaper «Moscow correspondent», saying that this newspaper becomes unprofitable. He refused to put regular monthly installment on the bank account of the «Moscow correspondent».

Since several monthes it was announced that the edition “ Moscow correspondent” is going to start working again from the September. At the last day of the September a new first release of the renewed newspaper appeared the Moscow’s shops. But this time the circulation of «Moskora» was much less than was during the first period of its release, and the number of stalls sell it around the Moscow was miserable. At the end of October Alexander Lebedev announced the final closing of the newspaper. CEO of the holding «New Media» (it included the newspaper «Moscow correspondent» and «Novaya Gazeta») Artyom in an interview with «Kommersant» said that the investor considered the experiment with the resumption of the newspaper unsuccessful.

“It would be nice to find out who and why this scandal organized. We’re adults. I do not believe that journalists «Moskora», as they say, just like that, on its own initiative, and took «joke.»”- mentiones A.Lebedev diring the interwiew to a one of the Moscow’s magazines. Someone was in need to make this false sensation appeared in this newspaper. And most importantly — to inflate it, to convey to the President. Or maybe this information is not just a Gossip and that’s the msine reason why the newspapper was closed do rapidly.

All in all, considered gossip fiction or believe it may decide each for himself, but one thing remains unchanged. Newspapers that printed a lie, do not close immediately; usually nobody reacto to these sort of informations. In the case with the “Moscow correspondent” there are too many suspicious coincidence that hinted to us that either there is truth in the pages, or it was skillfully setup to cause even greater interest to the head of the country. In any case, the story of fleeting Russian newspaper explaine how much influence the politic department has on the media; also, it shows how the second depends on the first.