By Andrei Lubensky,
Translation by Viktor Ouskin "Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation", Krasnoyarsk.
As we already wrote "NGO`s Internet Resources - an Important Instrument to Work With Mass Media and the Public", - seminar supported by a grant awarded by the Commission for Democracy at the USA Embassy in the Russian Federation gathered in Krasnoyarsk representatives from environmental organizations all over Russia. Like previous "network" seminars this was organized by the Russian Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation (CCNN) under the auspices of Krasnoyarsk "Memorial" Society and Maxsoft company.
Environmentalists gathered in Krasnoyarsk to enhance their knowledge about internet technologies. The goal is practical - to learn to create and promote high-quality and competitive information resources. The sites of non-government environmental organizations should in the opinion of organizers play a key role being "reliable sources of alternative information for the public". NGO representatives agree with this presentation of the problem. Yury Ivanov - representative of "Gaia" - Kola Ecological Center (Apatity, Murmansk oblast): "I consider the role of the Internet in our work as extremely important. First, it is search of information, news on nuclear subjects (nuclear power plants, in particular). I`d call information network monitoring. Second, the Internet makes possible to disseminate our own information on our own site - news, articles, project reports photographs, booklets, etc. E-mail is also of great importance. All this makes the Internet valuable and indispensable in our work. These seminars are absolutely necessary because the sites are the connection of the NGO with the society, directly with an individual. And this is very significant as the NGOs make mold the civil society in Russia. NGOs involve the public in solving urgent problems which are inadequately and sometimes absolutely not covered by the mass media".
Janna Pyankova - Krasnoyarsk Fund "Soyuz-Razvitie": The world web can help present an organizations and projects for a very broad audience, expeditiously report the work done. To develop the information field of the people "interested" in our activities. The Internet is the openness, transparency and accessibility, a help to promote new projects and new names".
These seminars are necessary, because many (if not all) NGOs in Russia, except for Internet - Resource of the Center, cannot adequately compete with the sites of government organizations", - says Oleg Dubrovin (Zheleznogorsk). - and the problem is rather lack of professional knowledge and experience in the field of information technologies than insufficient funds. Such trainings helps get the knowledge required to plan, optimize and promote one`s own web-resource. This, in its turn, makes an ordinary individual receive relatively complete information about nuclear safety and nonproliferation of nuclear materials".
Anna Yurina - representative of Movement for Nuclear Safety (Chelyabinsk) - agrees with him. She thinks that with time the "non-government organizations will be able to turn the global net into a most efficient weapon to fight for the purity of environment". This requires appropriate knowledge and skill which such seminars provide. "Since recently I have been working on web-resource of Movement for Nuclear Safety, - say Anna. - In future I`d like to give more attention to the nuclear subjects. I`d like to use our Internet-resource to attract attention of radioecological problems of Southern Ural. An interesting site saturated with information will help exchange opinions and ideas. The Internet provides opportunities to disseminate news among interested people to help find colleagues and the affinity group".
In questionnaires filled after the seminar other participants note that "the Internet as a means to glean information is becoming more popular than conventional mass media" (Sergei Baksheev, Ozersk), therefore the importance of network resources to promote ecological ideas can hardly be overestimated. Particularly, when the question in point is establishment of environmental values among the young people.
One more detail. "Recently in Russia the government has been increasing its pressure on the activity of independent mass media and non-government organizations, thus, it cant` be ruled out that soon the non-government organizations in Russia will have nothing but the Internet", - says Vladimir Mikheev head of the Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation. Thus, in general opinion of the participants the training seminars on the Internet technologies for the Russian NGOs should continue. Its should be noted that previously no such seminars had been held for non-government organizations - except for the seminars organized and held by the Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation.