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A majority of Russians would approve a ban on racial information, but do not see the point

A majority of Russians would approve a ban on the publication of racial, ethnic and religious information pertaining to criminals, although they do not see what the point would be. According to the results of a survey carried out by Romir Monitoring, only one out of five respondents wished to know the ethnicity and religion of suspected criminals (21%). Those who so answered were mostly ethnic Russians with a low income (23%, as opposed to 15% among wealthier respondents).

Most citizens (75%) would welcome the legislative initiative of the federal deputies, according to the studys authors. One third of respondents declared that it was not necessary to publish that sort of information, and the remaining 42% said that the idea was a sensible but an ineffective way to fight racism and nationalism in the country. Most of those respondents are between the ages of 25 and 44.

It is worth noting that among citizens with a higher income, half (51%) consider that the proposed initiative is a sensible idea.

The survey also found that businessmen were more likely than employees to disagree with the proposed amendment to the law About Mass Media respectively 30% and 18% of them disagreed.

During the course of the survey, respondents were asked the following question: How do you feel about the federal deputies initiative to introduce the aforementioned amendments to the law About Mass Media?

1619 respondents 18 years of age and older took part in the survey, which took place between March 15th to 21st 2007. The statistical error is no higher than 2.5%.

To recapitulate, federal deputies proposed to make amendments to the law About Mass Media, which would forbid journalists from giving out the racial, ethnic and religious affiliations of people suspected or accused of committing a crime. The authors of the amendments believe that this will help curtail ethnic tensions.

Opponents of the project consider that forbidding journalists from mentioning objective information is not an effective way of solving social problems. To them, it would make as much sense as forbidding the use of the word crisis or refusing to disclose the gender of the criminal.

Besides, an experienced journalist can always use euphemisms to express his or her thoughts. There are already enough articles in the Russian code of law to institute criminal proceedings against the real instigators of interethnic conflicts.

Source: Newsru.com


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