Cablegate: Tv Co-Op On Alaska Generates Major Interest Plus Its Own


DE RUEHTL #0232/01 1891403
R 071403Z JUL 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Tallinn 258 and 773

1. Summary. A team of award-winning reporters from the Estonian
television program "Subboteya" spent three weeks in Alaska exploring
the history of Alaskan Russians, the challenges faced by Alaska's
natives, and the lives of Alaskan-Americans. Not only did their
documentary air on Estonian TV after their return, the journalists
also shared their experiences with other Estonian media outlets,
Tallinn high school students, U.S. Embassy staff, as well as through
the Mission's signature Regional Outreach Program in the
predominantly Russian-speaking region of North-East Estonia. All of
these follow-on, interactive events generated even more public
interest and media coverage on Alaska and offered Estonia's
Russian-speaking youth a positive image of the United States. End

2. A three-member team of Estonia's Kanal 2 weekly "Subboteya" TV
program spent three weeks on their TV Co-Op in Alaska from October
2-20, 2007. "Subboteja" hosts Aleksandr Zukerman and Mihhail
Vladislavlev, as well as cameraman Riho Prees, prepared a three-part
documentary on their trip to Alaska, which aired on Estonia's
top-ranked Kanal 2 on October 27, November 3, and November 10, 2007.
The first piece in the series introduced Alaska and described its
nature beauty and history. This segment also covered the annual
re-enactment in Sitka of the Alaska Purchase and included an
interview with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The second part of the
documentary focused on Alaska's Native Peoples and their school
system - including the Alaskan Olympic Games which feature Native
Alaskan sports. The third and the final piece focused on Alaska's
Russian past. This episode also showed the Alaskan Russian Orthodox
Church today and told the story of Alaska's communities of Russian
Old Believers.

3. "Subboteya" is the most widely watched Russian-language TV show
in Estonia as it is extremely popular among both Russians and
Estonians. Thanks to this, the short series on Alaska generated a
great deal of public interest and secondary media coverage including
articles in "Arter" magazine - the weekly supplement to Estonia's
leading newspaper "Postimees" (236,000 readers) as well as in the
Russian-language edition of "Postimees" (63,000 readers). The
crew's Alaska trip was also covered in the Russian-language
"Molodjozh Estonii" (41,000 readers) and as an upcoming event in the
weekly TV magazine "Nadal" (120,000 readers).

4. On January 28, 2008, co-hosts Zukerman and Vladislavlev gave a
talk at a Russian-language high school in Tallinn as part of a
program designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in
education. The journalists showed clips from their programs and
talked about their experiences in Alaska. A group of 30 students
asked questions about Alaska's history, geography, and culture.
Zukerman said that he wanted to fight stereotypes and asked the
students to reserve judgments about the United States until they
have first-hand experience. This teaching event was covered in the
Russian-language weekly "Den za Dnjom" (53,000 readers).

5. Thanks to the team's interest in the subject and the large
amount of film they brought back from Alaska, both "Subboteya" and
the Embassy have come up with a number of ideas one how to make
further use of this footage. During their post-program briefing on
November 17, the "Subboteya" team offered to participate in Post's
signature Regional Outreach Program by traveling with and Embassy
team to the predominantly Russian-speaking city of Narva in
North-East Estonia. The purpose of this outreach visit trip was to
do a series of presentations on the team's trip to Alaska to share
their experiences with a larger Russian-speaking audience. The idea
came to fruition in April 2008 and it represented the first time
that the Post included non-Embassy staff in one of its Regional
Outreach Programs.

6. And so on April 24-25, the "Subboteya" team traveled with PAO
and Media Assistant on Embassy Regional Outreach to Estonia's
predominantly Russian-speaking Ida-Virumaa region to talk about
their Alaskan experience. The journalists met with approximately
200 Estonian- and Russian-speaking students from various schools in
Narva and Jhvi. The students showed great interest in the
presentation and asked multiple questions on various subjects
related to life in Alaska. The "Subboteya" team also gave a talk at
the American Corner located at Narva's Central Library to over 30
interested listeners.

7. At both the school and library events, "Subboteya" co-hosts
Aleksandr Zukerman and Mihhail Vladislavlev showed clips from their
show. Zukerman and Vladislavlev described their experiences
traveling in Alaska, across the United States, and around the world.
Thanks to their interesting, informative, and fun presentation,
audiences learned all about Alaska's history, geography, and
culture. When speaking at the schools, the journalists stressed
that the art of communication is instrumental in insuring the
success of Estonia's integration process.

8. This successful Regional Outreach visit to North-East Estonia
received significant coverage in the Russian-language regional
newspaper "Narvskaja Gazeta" on both April 24 and 26 (16,000
readers) as well as on the Russian-language "Pervyi Baltiski Kanal"
TV station's evening news (80,000 viewers) on April 28. Local "TV
Narva" also interviewed Mihhail Vladislavlev during the visit and
broadcast this story on both April 25 and 26.

5. Comment: Post will continue working with the "Subboteya" team
in order to make the most of what this talented team of journalists
has to offer to help promote integration in Estonia.


© Scoop Media

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