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New State Duma Committee to Oversee Mass Media

State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin Maxim Stulov

A new State Duma committee to oversee mass media will likely be formed within weeks, a top official said Monday.

Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the parliament’s lower house, told journalists that preparations were already under way to form the committee and that he expected it to appear during the State Duma’s autumn session, RIA-Novosti reported.

Naryshkin added that both the makeup and the leadership of the committee would be determined after consultations had been held with the heads of the State Duma’s four parliamentary factions.

Explaining the need for the committee, Naryshkin pointed to the heightened attention paid to mass media, the introduction of new technologies by journalists and a range of new laws governing media outlets.

Sergei Zheleznyak, Naryshkin’s deputy, later told the state-run news agency that any appointments to the new committee should be carefully balanced.

In particular, the United Russia-affiliated Zheleznyak said, “the decision on the head of the committee could be of the utmost importance.”

At present, there are 29 State Duma committees, whose members discuss draft legislation and make amendments to bills. Media issues are currently under the jurisdiction of the Culture Committee.

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