GlasNews - Summer 1994 - On-line Guide


Dear Networker:

Welcome to GlasNews online! GlasNews is a quarterly publication on East-West contacts in all aspects of communications - including journalism, telecommunications, photography, opinion research, advertising and public relations.

GlasNews is published by the Art Pattison Communications Exchange Program, based in Seattle.

This is your guide to the Summer 1994 issue of GlasNews. New issues are distributed quarterly via the *soc.culture.soviet* newsgroup on UseNet, and via *glasnost.news* on PeaceNet.

GLASNEWS-4.2.1 - INFORMATION REVOLUTIONARIES: Networkers of the world unite in Moscow

GLASNEWS-4.2.2 - MESSAGE FROM VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE

GLASNEWS-4.2.3 - MESSAGE FROM SERGEI FILATOV, PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF ADMINISTRATION

GLASNEWS-4.2.4 - SHORT TAKES

GlasNews wants to hear from you - and we extend a special invitation to communications professionals in Russia and other newly independent states.

An on-paper version of GlasNews is available for an annual subscription of $20. Send us a message at *glasnews@eskimo.com* or at the Art Pattison Communications Exchange Program, 111 W. Harrison, Seattle, Wash. 98119. Voice phone: Communication Northwest, 206-285-7070. Fax: 206-281-8985.

Tax-deductible contributions to CEP are greatly appreciated and acknowledged. Thanks to our latest contributors: The U.S. Agency for International Development through The Eurasia Foundation; and U S West International.

Acknowledgments also to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Ray Berry, Kim Carney and Lorraine Pozzi for technical assistance.

GlasNews articles, as well as GlasNet bulletins and material related to the October crisis, are available via ftp from ftp.eskimo.com in directory u/g/GlasNews. You can also get GlasNews via the World Wide Web at this locale: http://solar.rtd.utk.edu/friends/news/glasnews/master.html

- David Endicott, CEP Chairman; Alan Boyle, Managing Editor; Carol Rogalski, Contributing Editor; and other members of the CEP.


GlasNews 4.2.1 - Summer 1994 - INFORMATION REVOLUTIONARIES Networkers of the world unite in Moscow

By Alan Boyle


Information is power.

It's an ancient phrase: "Scientia potestas est." But it's also a one-sentence summary for this summer's "New Media for a New World" conference, which brought together journalists and networkers from East and West.

The conference took place in Moscow at the Ostankino Broadcast Center from July 27 to August 1. Organizers were ITA Ostankino and the Art Pattison Communications Exchange Program, the publisher of GlasNews. Major sponsors were the Eurasia Foundation, distributing funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development; and U S West International, an American telecommunications company active in Russia and throughout Europe.

Information has generally been a tightly guarded commodity in czarist and Soviet Russia. The inner workings of the government and the economy were a matter for the masters rather than the people. To be sure, access to the mere means of communications -- ranging from telephones to computers -- is a sharp economic issue. But in the long run, freedom of information is likely to become an even sharper political one.

The tone for the debate was set at the conference's opening reception by Alexander Yakovlev, formerly a top aide to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and currently head of Russian state broadcasting.

Yakovlev said that those who advocate the freer flow of information face a struggle against the powers that be -- but he noted that the information revolution has built up a momentum that appears irreversible.

"Power is going to shrink," he told conference delegates, "and information will expand."

The relationship between information and power was spelled out more explicitly by Christopher Kedzie, a doctoral fellow at RAND, one of the world's top policy research centers. In a paper prepared for the conference, Kedzie examined several social indicators, ranging from gross domestic product to literacy to ethnicity, to determine which indicators were most closely tied to the rise of more democratic societies. His analysis found that population size and interconnectivity, measured in terms of the prevalence of electronic communication networks, were the most reliable indicators of democratic societies.

Kedzie recommended that policy planners support new communication networks as part of their programs for economic development in the world's emerging democracies -- especially in Eurasia, where the connection between networks and democracy is particularly strong.

"The information revolution and the democratic revolution appear to be linked," he concluded in his paper. "We would not be here in Moscow today if the ability and the right to communicate had not progressed together."

That information revolution is not quite advanced in the East as in the West, but Western investment is helping Russia close the gap, as Stan Cramton, vice president of U S West International-Russia, explained during the conference. U S West is involved in ventures with Russian telecom companies to provide advanced services ranging from cellular telephones to fiber-optic lines.

Cramton recalled that U S West had brought potential investors to Moscow in October 1993, even as President Boris Yeltsin's allies and foes were facing off at the White House, Russia's parliament building.

"In the shadow of what was known as the Black and White House ... we sought outside investment, and I think it's very significant to note that we were oversubscribed," he said. "So in the face of all the adverse, negative news, there's still a strong commitment and a strong belief in the future of telecommunications and the future of Russia, as evidenced by these investors."

Top Russian networkers agreed that capital investment is vital to creating the Eastern lanes of the "information superhighway." But just as vital, in their view, is the legal underpinning for freedom of information. Repeatedly during the conference, Russian networkers and journalists called on their government to make more information available about the workings of public policy and the economy.

During the conference, shares in a Russian investment company called MMM suddenly plunged to a tenth of their previous value. In an echo of a Western-style market crash, paper fortunes evaporated and angry investors lined up outside financial offices. It was a powerful example of how much power is contained in the sort of financial information available in the West.

"When you ask questions about MMM, you want the company's financial report," said Esther Dyson, president of EDventure Holdings and a longtime observer of the computer scene.

"We don't even have that kind of terminology," a Russian responded. "We don't have normal stock companies that explain why they do what they're doing, and how they work. It's a matter of culture."

"It's a matter of laws and culture," Dyson said. "And the question is how to change it."

Dyson discussed the social issues related to new media during a panel discussion that also featured Anatoly Voronov, director of GlasNet, and Deborah Kaplan, vice president of the World Institute on Disability. Like Dyson, Kaplan is a member of the Clinton administration's Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure.

Kaplan outlined the debate in the United States over access to new telecommunications tools.

"How can we avoid having the new technologies build a bigger gap between those who have money and have other advantages in life, and those who don't have access to the information and are thereby even more disadvantaged?" Kaplan asked.

Dyson, a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's board, focused on the issues of electronic privacy and government efforts to have some control over the encryption of telephone calls and computer data.

Voronov talked about how new technologies are changing the way media are created and controlled. He recounted how the use of computer networks during the constitutional crises of 1991 and 1993 rendered efforts at censorship useless.

"The time of censorship in Russia is finished," he said. "Even if they close all the newspapers, I personally will collect all the articles and put them on the Internet.

"So it's a question of good will and organization. In Russia, we're not good at organizing things -- and we should learn how to do it."

During another presentation, John Dancy, Moscow correspondent for NBC News, discussed how computer networks help knit together his television network's worldwide operations.

"In effect, what NBC has done is set up its own on-line community," he said. "We've set up our own Internet."

Dancy outlined how he uses other computerized tools, ranging from the Nexis news archives to America Online, to gather information and keep in touch from Moscow.

Among other highlights of the conference:

-- Representatives of three American non-governmental organizations active in Russia -- Angela Charlton of the Russian-American Press and Information Center, Bill Fick of the International Research and Exchanges Board and Holt Ruffin of the Center for Civil Society International -- discussed their work and the outlook for Russia's independent social institutions.

-- David Carlson, director of the Electronic Newspaper / Communication Lab at the University of Florida, traced the history of electronic newspapers from Prestel to the present.

-- Roger Fidler, director of new media for Knight Ridder Inc., sketched out his vision for the newspaper of the future, incorporating audio and video as well as hypertext. Such an editorial product could be delivered via wired or wireless means to a tablet-sized electronic panel by the end of the century, Fidler said.

Perhaps the showiest part of the conference were the demonstrations of advanced communications services by Ostankino as well as Sovam Teleport and Relcom. Golden Line, based in Moscow, set up a 64kbs connection to the Internet.

Thanks to these connections, Sovam and Relcom helped conference participants turn on and tune in to the text, audio, graphics and video available over the World Wide Web. Only a few hours after the conference started, photographs from the opening sessions were distributed worldwide over the Internet. Networkers downloaded songs and other sounds for the amusement of journalists. And in a tour de force, Igor Semenyuk of Sovam Teleport took Russians on a tour of Soviet archives and other resources available over the Web.

During the event's "Virtual Conference," networkers conducted conversations with their colleagues in Seattle and Washington, D.C., via real-time Internet connections. And GlasNet provided e-mail accounts for some visitors during their stay in Moscow.

Thanks also to GlasNet, ITA Ostankino, the radio-TV news network that reaches across all the republics of the former Soviet Union, now has its own e-mail address: ita@glas.apc.org.

Other contributors to the conference include New Media Ventures, a subsidiary of Cowles Publishing Co. that offers the SR Minerva on-line service in Spokane, Wash.; the Moscow office of Microsoft; AAA Printing & Graphics in Bellevue, Wash.; and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is providing continuing electronic support for conference communications.

Conference organizers are discussing plans for the second "New Media for a New World" meeting, tentatively scheduled for early September 1995 in Moscow. There are also plans for a midterm videoconference, facilitated by several organizations in Seattle and Moscow as well as Knoxville, Tenn., and Pushchino, Russia.

Conference proceedings are being made available via anonymous FTP (ftp://ftp.eskimo.com/u/g/GlasNews/nm.nw/) and the World Wide Web (http://solar.rtd.utk.edu/~aboyle/new.world.html).

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GlasNews 4.2.2 - Summer 1994

MESSAGE FROM VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE

Sent to the "New Media for a New World" conference via e-mail
Dear Friends:
     
          Thank you for your invitation to address the New Media for a
     New World Conference.  I welcome the opportunity to directly
     communicate with you on the information superhighway.
     
          As you know, President Clinton and I have made the
     development of a Global Information Infrastructure a top priority
     for our Administration.  The GII is a way to accelerate
     international economic development, dramatically improve the
     quality of people's lives, and protect and promote democracy
     around the world.
     
          In a speech to the International Telecommunications Union in
     March, I asked members of the ITU to help bring all the
     communities of the world together through the information
     superhighway.  As a first step to creating the GII, I challenged
     government and industry leaders from around the world to connect
     every national library to the Internet, the world's largest
     computer network, in order to create a Global Digital Library.
     
          President Clinton and I strongly support a GII that benefits
     the people of all countries -- developed and developing, rich and
     poor, comprising all nationalities.  A GII will increase economic
     opportunity and development for these countries, open lines of
     communication, and strengthen the bonds of liberty and democracy
     around the world.
     
          In addition, since President Clinton took office, I have
     worked closely with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to
     build a partnership that fosters economic cooperation between our
     two countries particularly on the issues of space cooperation,
     business, defense conversion, energy and the environment, and
     science and technology.  At our most recent meeting in June,
     Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and I announced a package of three
     U.S. government-supported funds that will leverage $5 billion of
     critically-needed private sector investment in the economies of
     Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union.  Some of the
     money will finance projects requiring an intensive infusion of
     capital, including telecommunications development. 
     
          I know that you join the President and me in the effort to
     build the GII and bring the communities of the world together
     through the information superhighway.  Congratulations on the
     tremendous success of the New Media for a New World Conference. 
     Best wishes and good luck.
     
                                     Sincerely,
     
     
                                       Al Gore
                                       
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GlasNews 4.2.3 - Summer 1994

MESSAGE FROM SERGEI FILATOV, PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF ADMINISTRATION

Here are greetings sent to the "New Media for a New World" conference:
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
participants of the Russian-American conference
"New Media for a New World":

Any meeting of representatives of the Russian and American public is
another road to reach mutual understanding and to strengthen ties between
peoples of two countries.

Among scientific, technical, business and other kinds of meetings yours is
unique. The new electronic technology enabling people to cover any
distance does not work on its own. Only people united by joint 
humanitarian efforts and just as importantly by their common professional
interests can humanize that technology. Within the boundaries of our planet,
which tends to be smaller and smaller, these efforts open vast possibilities
of human spirit and mind.

I'd like to believe that these new media will be in the hands of people who
are noble and dedicated to humanitarian ideals. Such a situation will bring
a quicker end to the world's evils and a faster spread of good will.

I'm sure that your meeting is going to be fruitful.

Wishing you every possible success,

S. FILATOV
Head of Administration
of the President of
the Russian Federation
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GlasNews 4.2.4 - Summer 1994

SHORT TAKES


Orlova-Endicott represents Russian TV network in America's Northwest


Marina Orlova-Endicott has been named as Pacific Northwest correspondent and news analyst by the Information Television Agency "ITA Ostankino," the Russian national television company in Moscow. She will report on Northwest companies and individuals of interest to about 275 million television viewers throughout Russia and the republics of the former Soviet Union.

Orlova-Endicott has worked at Ostankino and its Soviet predecessor, GosTeleRadio, since 1973. She served as the co-anchor of Ostankino's morning talk program, "Utro" (meaning "Morning") from 1989 to 1992, before moving to Seattle. Previously, she was the anchor of two international news programs, "Planet" and "In the Countries of Socialism." She also served as a correspondent and commentator at the national network. She can be reached by calling (206) 859-6020.

CEP's chairman organizes initiatives for Russia


David Endicott, chairman of the Art Pattison Communications Exchange Program, has been asked by ITA Ostankino to organize a U.S.-based effort to acquire modern television news production equipment. The equipment, from laptops to the most sophisticated graphics-generating computers, will be used by the Russian national TV network to modernize its aging production facilities at the Moscow broadcast center.

Endicott also is organizing a Russian health awareness program, initially focused around the hazards of tobacco use, at the request of senior Russian officials.

FSUmedia: A new e-mail resource for journalists


FSUmedia is a new mailing list devoted to media issues in the former Soviet Union. The service was established by Internews, a non-governmental organization involved in media development -- and particularly the development of independent television -- throughout the former Soviet Union.

The mailing list is notable for several reasons: Its guiding light is Eric Johnson of Internews, a respected figure in East-West communications; it draws on a wide variety of other resources; and its subscribers hail from Central Asia as well as Europe.

To subscribe, send a one-line message to listproc@sovam.com. The message should read: subscribe fsumedia firstname lastname (for example, if your name is Ivan Smith, type "subscribe fsumedia Ivan Smith").

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Exchange Program
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Seattle, Wash. 98119 USA 
Phone: 206-285-7070
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