The editorial office of the Russian edition of Forbes today applied to the Moscow prosecutor's office, two employees of the magazine told Vedomosti. According to them, yesterday, July 25, the editorial board received a fresh issue of Forbes from August, where it did not find the article "Family Matters" by journalists Sergei Titov and Elena Berezanskaya about the business of the brothers Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov. These businessmen are accused of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles.
The correspondent of Vedomosti was convinced that there are no articles about the Magomedovs in the August issue of Forbes (number 08/2018). After the publication of the article, an article about Magomedov appeared on the Forbes website.
The representative of the holding "Summa" of the brothers Magomedov told Vedomosti that the company and its shareholders had no complaints about the magazine at the stage of preparing an article about their business, nor did these claims arise after the company read the text published on the Forbes website.
The article was made up and put in a number, it was approved and. about. Forbes editor-in-chief Nikolai Mazurin, one source told Vedomosti, but as a result, the printed issue of the magazine published a short article by another author on another topic. The replacement occurred without the knowledge of the authors of the text and Mazurin, Vedomosti interlocutors know. According to them, therefore Mazurin appealed to the prosecutor - in the opinion of the editorial board, such actions violate the law on the media, in particular Art. 19, according to which no one has the right to interfere in the activities of the editorial board, including its founder.
The founder of the Russian version of Forbes is AS Ross Media (part of the publishing house ACMG, founded by Alexander Fedotov).
Mazurin confirmed to Vedomosti that he had submitted an application to the prosecutor's office on his behalf and asked that a possible violation of the law on mass media be checked in connection with the failure of the article on Magomedov: "We came to the prosecutor's office together with the authors of the article." At the meeting of the editorial office, Mazurin showed his colleagues a statement and a stamp about the document's acceptance by the prosecutor's office, a source told Vedomosti.
The editors do not know who ordered to withdraw the article and how exactly it happened, sources of Vedomosti say. In the statement, journalists are asked to determine who it was.
The representative of the Moscow prosecutor's office declined to comment. A source in the prosecutor's office confirmed that Forbes had filed a complaint.
The material "Family affairs" is currently being finalized, its transfer from the August issue of Forbes is connected with the comments of the legal service of the publication, a representative of the publisher of the magazine told Vedomosti: "The publication will cause a series of lawsuits in defense of honor, dignity and business reputation <...> and as a result, economic risks associated with compensation for moral damage, losses, as well as costs for litigation, which will inevitably incur economic, reputational and ethical risks for the magazine. "
There is also the "ethical side" of the issue, the representative of ACMG points out: "World standards of journalism, our own experience, as well as the practice of colleagues from Forbes USA indicate that among the editors there is a single principle - not publish materials about suspects or defendants who could potentially influence the investigation. "
The American media regularly publish materials about people and companies accused of offenses and being in trials. For example, the American Forbes released a number of texts about Harvey Weinstein, accused of sexual harassment, Vedomosti became convinced.
Forbes journalists have several times accused Fedotov of interfering in the editorial policy of the publication, which is expressly prohibited by the law on the media. For the first time the conflict between the editorial board and Fedotov was published after Forbes released the top-managers' salary rating in 2016 without evaluating the remuneration of VTB chairman Andrei Kostin. Journalists wrote a letter to Fedotov, where they suggested that Kostin's lack of salary assessment in the rating was his decision. Later, in court in 2017, the author of the rating, Elena Berezanskaya, testified that it was Fedotov who insisted on excluding data on Kostin. Another Forbes journalist at the same court cited other evidence of the owner's interference in editorial policy. Recently, Fedotov dismissed the post of editor-in-chief Nikolai Uskov. He immediately publicly described how Fedotov intervened in the work of the editorial board, although he had previously denied such facts.
Until the fall of 2015, the journals Forbes, OK !, Geo and Gala Biography in Russia published the publishing house Axel Springer. In September, the German company said that due to new restrictions on foreigners in the media (since 2016 can not own more than 20% of the company - the media publisher) has sold the Russian unit to the owner of the publishing house Artcom Media, Alexander Fedotov (publishes the magazines L'Officiel, Numero, Port and SNC).