I have just been invited to a conference in Oxford. The reply to my request for more details went as follows:
Dear Professor Atkinson,
Thank you so much for your interest in our seminar. It'd be a great honor for us if you decide to join our debates in Oxford in January. My only concern is that I can hardly be more specific about the audience at this stage. There will be around 80-90 journalists from different regions of Russia (relatively young, average age 35). The group is now being composed, and as soon as my colleagues give me more information, I'll be happy to share it with you.
As for the School, we are an NGO based in Moscow, but forced to organize most of our seminars abroad due to the latest law on foreign agents.
We've been holding seminars on Media and society for the last 20 years, and we believe we represent a unique source of top level Russian expertise, and the strongest of our experts are our journalists. We gather (especially for this seminar) young journalists from all over Russia and post soviet space (Eastern Europe including) and give floor to the best experts and journalists so that they could discuss all the vital issues. Our seminars are built the way that experts give a short talk (20-30 min) followed up by an hour of discussion. We also include panel debates, round tables, screenings and meeting film directors.
Vaguely puzzled by this, I sent a copy to my brother, who has a degree in Russian and follows events there more closely than most media commentators in the UK.
What fantastic proof of your standing in the field. Very impressed.
NGO (non government organisations) are such an interesting story in Russia. They are now all but banned as the Putin govt regards them as foreign agents. The first major casualty was the British Council which I believe was headed by Kinnock junior.
Russian journalists are very brave. They suffer from intimidation and even murder. Anna Politkovskaya was an example.
Good luck with your lifetime award presentation next week.
D and B!!!