|The only certainty is that nothing is certain. - Pliny the Elder|
Through its unique program of computer information services, research library, topical briefings, training seminars, and regional branches throughout Russia, the Russian-American Press and Information Center has developed into one of the most comprehensive information resources available for journalists of the former Soviet Union.
RAPIC is a joint project of New York University's Center for War Peace, and the News Media and the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute for the Study of USA and Canada.
The cornerstone of the Center is the concept that a free press maintains and strengthens democratic institutions, and that an independent press depends on access to information. By providing Russian journalists with historical and statistical materials and unrestricted access to newsmakers, the Center hopes to strengthen both news reporting and channels of public debate in the CIS.
Information Services: RAPIC's computer reference service, offering databases both on-line and on CD-ROM, allows reporters access to full texts of thousands of Western and Russian newspapers, magazines and academic journals. Among current databases available are NEXIS/LEXIS, one of the most comprehensive telecommunication information services, with access to full-text databases of many media and legal sources; Russian Federation databases, containing information on legal and executive powers in Russia (Infoset', Ofitsioz-Novosti); biographical databases (Who's Who in the CIS); and statistical databases from Rosinformcenter, containing statistics on all spheres of development in Russia.
Research Library. The Center's book and periodical library including many English- and Russian-language reference materials, a collection of current Moscow and central press daily and weekly newspapers and magazines. The Center has access to the library of the Institute of USA and Canada Studies and the 2.2 million volume library of New York University.
Programs: RAPIC's comprehensive program of seminars, briefings and press conferences covers a variety of current issues of interest to Russian and foreign journalists, featuring scholars, experts and officials. Programs have covered topics such as nuclear non-proliferation, environmental issues, conducting business in the "New Russia," the use of new technologies in journalistic research, and training for independent television station managers.
Regional Centers In recognition of the growing influence of local and regional mass media and the diminishing impact of the national/central press, RAPIC has established three regional branches -- in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Novosibirsk. While pursuing the general mission of the Moscow Center, programs and services will be specially designed to meet the needs of the local press and the journalistic communities they serve. The main purpose of the program is to enable each local center to offer regular on-line and other information services, monthly programs, and other resources developed by the Moscow Center for distribution around the country. Four more regional branches are planned for other Russian oblast and krai capitals for early 1995.
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