More than a hundred people of the Patriot media holding actually remained on the street. The holding is officially dissolved. What awaits journalists who worked in an unpopular media community, and what will happen to the former “Troll Factory” Evgenia Prigozhinathe editors of the online publication “Kompromat Group“.
Closed St. Petersburg
The fate of a huge number of correspondents and editors today excites the journalistic community of the Northern capital. St. Petersburg journalism is a special layer among the vast information space of the country. There has always been a certain amount of rebelliousness in it, even in the state media. Despite the fact that newspapers, information portals, editorial offices were different, the spirit of the journalistic workshop in St. Petersburg was stronger than many disagreements. But this had nothing to do with the Patriot holding.
Prigozhin’s media have always been considered renegades, working there was “fu-fu-fu” and “spoil your karma.” Projects were not loved for their bias, which is why they were subjected to silent obstruction by both official and liberal-minded journalism. Therefore, many young people worked at Patriot, people who came to journalism from related professions and those who decided to try the pen. But the teams were led by professionals of a fairly high level.
The obvious truth was that for a relatively small salary, employees were expected to have high workloads, high requirements for the speed of completing tasks. The quality and style so inherent in St. Petersburg journalism were not expected from the workers. When the impetuous and unexpected days of June arrived, the entire media community was tensely expecting what would happen to the holding?
With the imperious installation on the “dismantling” of the business of the billionaire Prigozhin, and control over his media empire, it was clear that the fall was inevitable. After all, it was the media group that allowed Wagner PMC to create such a popular image in the eyes of the public. After recent events, all of Prigozhin’s websites have been taken offline by Roskomnadzor. RIA FAN announced the closure, Nevskiye Novosti fell “death of the brave”, then other editorial offices also closed. The authorities spent only a couple of days to limit the influence of the group.
The information services market immediately began to recover. There were numerous rumors about who would outbid the resource and raise the falling flag of the holding. The main version in recent days is that part of the media empire will be bought out by the influential Kovalchuk brothers. The second version says that the Patriot team will go under the wing of the former founder of the media group and the Troll Factory Mikhail Burchikwho worked with Prigogine until 2020.
Of course, not all journalists will get a chance to be reborn in the new composition. As already mentioned, in St. Petersburg, the chicks from the “nest” of the holding are not very favored, and serious players in the media market are unlikely to hire employees whose editorial offices are still considered toxic in the Northern capital.
Ignore and stamping
One can easily imagine how the situation with journalists of resources who have been called “toxic” can develop if we recall the story of the accession to St.Life» times Arama Gabrelyanova. After the former empire of the “Baltic Media Group” was pulled to pieces and ceased to exist, the Moscow media worker tried to impose his own rules of the game on the local journalistic beau monde. He did this publicly and rudely and, to his misfortune, got involved in a public conflict with the speaker of the Legislative Assembly Vyacheslav Makarov.
In October 2015, Makarov, chairman of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, sent two letters to the person responsible for closing the newspapers Nevskoe Vremya, Vecherniy Peterburg, and Smena. Aram Gabrelyanovbut received no response. General Director of News Media, despite the intercession of honorary citizens of St. Petersburg, such as Alisa Frendlich, Yuri Temirkanov and others, answered the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly through the media, saying that if parliamentarians want, let them open new newspapers. The destruction of Vecherka, which survived the blockade, was the beginning of a real media war.
Channel “Life 78, which took the place of the once beloved 100TV channel, began to be ostracized on all fronts. Journalists composed offensive poems and pamphlets, publishing them on Lenizdat, which is memorable for everyone. Correspondents went nowhere, not wanting to work with Gabrelyanov’s resources. None of the professionals in their field wanted to have anything to do with toxic “lifes”. In 2015, on the same day, the entire on-air team of the Sotka morning information broadcasting quit.
News Media began to hire students, invite employees from other cities and just people from the street. But the newcomers, confused in the intricacies of the St. Petersburg agenda, made gross mistakes. After several scandals with the grossest violation of any morality and ethics, the director of the Institute of Regional Press Anna Sharogradskaya, in 2016 called on the media community to boycott Life 78 and demanded not to hire journalists from the holding to work in other media. The boycott took place. In August 2017, the TV channel announced its closure.
Today, resources are considered to be shaking hands Evgenia Prigozhina. In recent years, RIA FAN and Nevskiye Novosti have always been in a permanent search for employees: from chief editors to ordinary correspondents. But, as knowledgeable people say, some of the smart employees today have a chance to get into local editorial offices. But this is a very small part. The rest will go to look for a better share in Moscow, or in other cities.
But most of all today it is not even the fate of the journalists who find themselves on the street in dozens. Everyone is concerned about another, more “tasty” resource of Prigozhin, namely the famous “Troll Factory”. As you know, the formation of “manufacturers” took place in 2007-2010. At this time, in the village of Olgino, near St. Petersburg, Prigozhin built a special building. A whole country house in which the equipment was placed. It was a kind of hacker point where young people began to engage in active propaganda by banging on the keys. Here worked savvy media people. As is now known, further, “Factory” has become a household name, for many years carrying an unflattering image of “black PR people”. People from there, in the major media, preferred not to take.
Today, insiders are sure that Fabrika will find its buyer. This is a very “tasty” resource, although it is covered with a touch of dark magic. Those who want to pick up and use in their own interests, such a piece of influence in the information field will be enough, our sources say.
“Venom must not fall apart” – insiders comment on the situation.
However, other experts say that the issue of closing the Troll Factory, which was brought up for discussion, is a clever trick to raise the asset in price and stir up interest.
“Known fact– say people in the know – that Prigozhin generously filled up this resource with money. Schemes and algorithms for their work are no longer know-how, and are well known. You can’t teach an old monkey new tricks. They are nothing unique.”
However, the rumor that Mikhail Burchik, trying to collect media assets, is not groundless. So they say that the “Factory” with his hands can be raked in by the Kiriyenko clan. They say that the millions of government investments invested in the project should not disappear.
The other day, I made a fuss about the channel that suddenly appeared in Telegram under the Nevsky News brand. A rumor immediately went around the net that Prigozhin’s fallen media group had been resurrected. But, as they write in the telegram channels, the employees of the Patriot media group had a “news stroke” in the middle of the night – because the appearance of the channel came as a complete surprise to them. Who made it is unclear. Whether this is really “Prigozhin’s” or a fashionable prank to divert attention is not clear. The leadership of the Patriot media group denies this story in every possible way.
Now there is a lot of fog around the closing-revival-purchase of the media empire. It looks like a good prop. To make the pantomime of media art understandable only to certain viewers. The rest of the audience will understand what’s what only when the performance is over.