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Abstract

The diversity of attitudes of Russian society towards television coupled with many plots and subplots emerged in the public arena providing us with an opportunity to consider them as an indicators of the maturity of civil society in Russia. It is also an indicator of the level of influence that religions have in the public sphere and the content of TV programs. I will base my judgment on public declarations by authorities of the idea that Russia strives to build a civil society, rather than examining in details the discussion whether the existence of a civil society in Russia is a fact. The current situation on Russian TV is a permanent source of concern for many people in Russia. Heated public debate about the necessity of social control over Russian TV programs was raised first by religious organizations and then supported by various groups of civil society. The current public debate over the moral control of TV has its roots in perestroika, a time when freedom of media was not accompanied by proper understanding of media responsibility in Russia. In 1999 - this debate almost resulted in a legislative act , a federal law “On a Higher Council for the Defense of Morality in Television and Radio Broadcasting in the Russian Federation.” This law proposal passed through the State Duma [Parliament] and was approved by the Council of the Federation. But President Boris Yeltsin vetoed the law proposal (Media Law, 1999).

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