On April 4th, MGIMO-University had the pleasure of hosting Peter Lavelle, host of Russia Today’s popular television show “Crosstalk”. Each week on Crosstalk, Lavelle hosts a discussion on a political topic, such as the conflict in Syria, to which he invites distinguished individuals representing a broad spectrum of views on the issue. During his visit to MGIMO, Lavelle spoke to an audience of 50-60 students regarding the problems facing contemporary journalism, with a slight emphasis on the United States and Russia.
During the first part of his presentation, Mr. Lavelle lambasted the “mainstream” media for its lack of integrity and subjugation to political and economic interests, particularly in the United States. He described what he sees as the general decline of the inquisitive ideal in journalism, largely a result of a system structured to reward certain points of view and discourage the presentation of alternatives. Lavelle admitted that Russia Today itself has not managed to completely avoid this problem, but maintained that the network in general and his show in particular strive to analyze and present the news from a perspective that challenges the mainstream interpretation. In conclusion, Lavelle challenged the students in the audience to question the mainstream media and to hold them accountable through vigilant criticism and by seeking out alternative perspectives whenever possible.
Mr. Lavelle then opened the floor to questions and the audience happily obliged. There was certainly no shortage of interest in the subject at hand, and the discussion quickly expanded to include everything from Russia’s political future to the importance of television as a news source. After a very engaging question-and-answer session, Lavelle left the audience with an open invitation to the Russia Today studio to watch a live recording of an episode of “Crosstalk”.
1st year student
Master’s Program “Politics and Economics in Eurasia”