Timur Bikmurzin: ''TNV eliminates illiteracy. Financial one''

TNV channel launches a new programme

Timur Bikmurzin: ''TNV eliminates illiteracy. Financial one'' Photo: PR department at Novy Vek television and radio broadcasting company JSC

On April 2, the first edition of the television programme 'Real Economy' will be aired on TNV television channel. Real Economy's presenter Timur Bikmurzin told about how the new programme will differ from other similar programmes, the tasks of the team and the topic of the programme in the interview.

''People are the most important thing in enterprises, not technologies''

Timur, is 'Real Economy' a totally new project for TNV or it is a return to what has already been produced on the channel? What emphasis will be placed in this programme?

Our new programme will combine several aspects at once. It is primarily a story about working people — the portrait of a working person. There will also be an analytical discussion of socio-economic problems, which are the main topics of concern to our society. TNV has already had similar programmes, for example, 'Tatarstan — the territory of small business'. But in 'Real Economy' the emphasis will be different.

In my opinion, there are very few easily understandable programmes on economic issues on television today. Even on federal channels, which make a strong emphasis on entertainment content. Apparently, there prevails the opinion that viewers are not interested in serious programmes, that they are boring and incomprehensible. I am sure that such opinion is wrong. It's just that today there are few journalists who can clearly and, at the same time, interestingly to convey the problems and issues related to the economy to a wide audience.

By the way, there are more such programmes on regional television. But it's the proper thing to do — it is the right time for regional specialists to engage with this topic: we are closer to real business in the regions, we can interact closely with its representatives, and, most importantly, it is high time to remember and talk about people working directly in the production. So, the absence or irrelevancy of programmes about the economy – it is primarily the question of availability of professional journalists.

''Our new programme will combine several aspects at once. It is primarily a story about working people — the portrait of a working person''

Why did they call the programme 'Real Economy'?

It is important to read this title correctly, since both words matter here.

Why 'real'? There is such concept — 'real sector of economy'. We want to tell about the enterprises particularly of real sector of the economy — those that work, as they say, 'on ground', create marginal product. There are quite a lot of such enterprises in our region, but they are rarely told about — it is not popular. TV people do not notice them. This is due to the fact that it is widely assumed that technology, production lines and so on — all this is uninteresting to a wide audience, boring and does not give ratings. But the most important thing in these enterprises is not technology. People is the main thing here, those who create the very added value, who work in leading enterprises, who do not idle away their time, as is commonly believed, but successfully work. The workers there, by the way, get a very good salary, about what most of Tatarstan citizens do not even know.

So, our programme is about the very real economy, which is the basis of all the good that has been created in Tatarstan in recent years.

Are there any concerns that your programme will be pretentious?

We want to make it really interesting, and therefore we avoid pretentions. Although we understand that there is a risk of falling into unnecessary rhetoric, but we will try to avoid false notes.

''We need to eliminate financial illiteracy''

It's no secret that now there are two opinions in the society, two views on the Russian economy. Representatives of the authorities, government agencies and even large businesses argue that due to sanctions the domestic economy is on the rise, notorious import substitution has done its good work, which allowed the economy to make a leap. The second opinion, shared by skeptics: our economy is in decline, businesses are being hindered from development, the figures and indicators that are voiced do not correspond to reality. Will you be able to convince the viewers of the positive state of Tatarstan economy in your programme and make it so that they believe you?

You are right, today there are two points of view on our economy. As it often happens, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Certainly, we cannot say that we have a strong economy development: if we look at growth rates, they are being at the level of 2% in the Russian Federation, but world GDP growth averages 3.8%. That is, we understand that we have huge reserves, but we would like something more.

On the other hand, we also cannot say that everything is bad — it is a myth. We are told: ''Over the past 20 years, no enterprises have been built in Russia, all we have now is the last juices from the Soviet heritage.'' But this is also a myth because not only enterprises, but entire industries are created from scratch, for example, in the same oil refining. These are high-tech industries, which bring huge profits. They have become both an engine of growth and the basic branch of economy of the republic in general.

''It is widely assumed that technology, production lines and so on — all this is uninteresting to a wide audience, boring and does not give ratings. But the most important thing in these enterprises is not technology. People is the main thing here''

What is the potential audience of 'Real Economy'? Professional community of businessmen, economists-financiers or ordinary viewers? Do you want to tell Tatarstan citizens what they have in the republic?

Our programme is designed for those who are interested in life in itself, who want to know and understand more. We want to show our viewers the enterprises, whose activity allows Tatarstan to remain a leading region. We want through a specific enterprise to reach general economic problems of interest to a wide range of viewers.

We also want to draw attention to some bottlenecks in the economy. In the first edition, for example, we will talk about financial illiteracy and how to overcome it. It is no secret that financial literacy in Russia is being at a blatantly low level. We, Russians, do not know many of the usual things and communicate with banks only at the level of 'to go to withdraw money from a bank account'.

We, for example, do not understand how the economy creates added value. When I spoke to Andrey Sharonov, the president of Skolkovo Moscow school of management, he said to me something like this: ''There is the feeling that Russians imagine Russia's budget in the form of a bedside table with money. Someone opens it, takes a stack of money to give to doctors, the other — to teachers and so on. And then the nightstand is filled with money by itself. Even many entrepreneurs have exactly the same idea of the budget — at the level of the bedside table.'' That's why we should deal with the elimination of financial illiteracy. Lack of basic knowledge of finance is a disaster. A huge number of people keep their money in ordinary glass jars. Today, too much money is kept in hands, they are not involved in the economy. It's easier for people to think that it is safer to keep them 'under the pillow'.

But you understand that it is because of mistrust and disbelief to the authorities, that people now live by the principle 'once bitten, twice shy'.

Of course, we do. And we want to dispel this unbelief through our programme. We want to tell people convincingly that there are regional, most importantly, stable banks in Tatarstan, which can be entrusted with their savings.

''Our programme is designed for those who are interested in life in itself, who want to know and understand more''

What is your forecast for the rating of the programme, that is, the level of popularity?

I hope that the rating of 'Real Economy' will be above average. My assumptions are based on what we have talked about earlier: the viewer miss serious economic programmes that would address the problems of their daily lives. Because, again, it is a myth that people are not interested in the economy, that they are only interested in scandals and peeping into the keyhole. Really interesting programme is a question of journalistic qualification, and one shouldn't think badly about our viewers. It is necessary to communicate information accessibly, understandably and interestingly. This is a very difficult task. We are going to fulfil it.

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The information provided by PR department of Novy Vek television and radio company JSC