Journalist guidelines for promoting Putin mistakenly published in open Telegram channel

22 January 2022, 06:04 PM

Employees of the Voronezh Regional Management Center in southwest Russia have mistakenly published on a public Telegram channel a booklet of what appear to be journalistic guidelines for publicizing the activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government in regional media outlets.

 The leak was first reported on by Krym.Realii, a project of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty focusing on events in the Crimean Peninsula.

According to Krym.Realii, the booklet first appeared on the Federal Content Telegram channel, but has since disappeared from search results and can no longer be downloaded via the original link.

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Access to these guidelines were publicly available for eight months before they were taken down. They include, for example, selected notes from Putin’s public statements that were “most positively perceived by the audience” – these were about payments to families with children, “changes” in education, and new ambulances for villages. The channel moderators asked journalists to focus on these topics in their work.

A week later, the center reported that they would make an “overall rating of regions on working out messages for leaders.” The channel also published ready-made designed quotes of Putin, which they proposed by distributed on social networks. In addition, journalists were given instructions on promoting the pro-Kremlin Novoe Znanie forum and a live nationwide phone-in broadcast with Putin.

During the summer fire season in Russia, the center suggested focusing on the fact that “fires are burning all over the world,” and “the United Nations has called fire-fighting a global problem.”

After the death of the Chairman of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Yevhen Zinichev, journalists were told that they had been mandated to indicate that he had died during training exercises while saving the life of another person.

In social networks, representatives of the center asked to that articles be post-scripted “Eternal memory,” and “Glory to a Hero.”

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