How to receive TEFI award? To ruin for your favourite, to hate the champion

Tatiana Tarasova won the award for a report from Pyeongchang that Channel One editors had to cut

How to receive TEFI award? To ruin for your favourite, to hate the champion Photo: instagram.com

The names of TEFI award winners in TV have been known these days. Figure skating competition host Tatiana Tarasova won in Best Sports Commentator. The jury's choice was quite unwelcomed by those who stay tuned for figure skating. Realnoe Vremya tells why Tarasova's victory discredits TEFI award.

TEFI is in trouble

As it's known, TEFI award is given for high achievements in television. It was founded as early as 1994 by the Russian Television Academy and is considered the most important event in the Russian television world. But the award has been in trouble in the last several years and is caught with biased judging more.

''The award is going towards its collapse. I'm afraid none of the founders wants honest judging. Today the award, unfortunately, doesn't reflect the level of professional mastery, it's not linked with the quality of work. A lobby is the only driver. If TEFI wants to keep awarding people who don't deserve a victory, nothing needs to change. TEFI will disappear on its own sooner or later,'' journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza wrote last year.

The award has been in trouble in the last several years and is more caught in biased judging. Photo: gazprom-media.com

This year the award has seriously reconsidered judging rules having increased the number of judges to more than a thousand people. However, it wasn't possible to avoid criticism – this time many people didn't like Tatiana Tarasova's victory in Best Sports Commentator. It should be noticed for justice that only Vladimir Stogniyenko stood out from the crowd among Tarasova's rivals, while Guberniyev, Arustamyan, Gutsait and Shnyakin haven't had memorable works this year.

Tatiana Tarasova was very glad for herself and published a post on her Instagram: ''My friends, thanks for the warm words. It's very pleasant to receive this cherished statuette after being criticised. I didn't hope, I even don't understand how lucky I am. I don't consider I'm a journalist, I just love figure skating. Thanks again for your love… And let's keep working''.

Tarasova is an authority with subjective opinion

Tarasova is an indisputable authority in figure skating around the world. In Russia, Mrs Tarasova is very popular and serves as an expert commentator in all important tournaments in this sport. The Russian fan can't already imagine a TV report of big competitions without her voice accompaniment. However, Tarasova's style of work is more often criticised.

Tarasova got the TEFI for her work in women's single free routine at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. And it's the case when it's impossible to make up a stranger reason for the award. The report from Korea was so biased that Channel One even had to cut Tarasova's comment when the victorious final was transmitted again. The jury could make this choice only in two cases: it was either showed the short version of the transmission or the decision was made by people who know nothing in this sport.

How was it possible to recognise the person who was sobbing live because of her favourite Evgenia Medvedeva's defeat without respect for people who supported Zagitova, who's, by the way, the winner (and deserved it) of the competition, as the best commentator? Photo:: David J. Phillip / AP (meduza.io)

''Don't get offended, daddy, that many of us loved Evgenia more''

The recognition of Mrs Tarasova as the best commentator is a really heavy blow on the reputation of the award in front of the eyes of a huge number of viewers. How was it possible to recognise the person who was sobbing live because of her favourite Evgenia Medvedeva's defeat without respect for people who supported Zagitova, who's, by the way a winner (and deserved it) of the competition, as the best commentator? Do you really consider the award was fairly given to the commentator who permits to spit venom after Alina's falls at the World Championship: ''Evgenia, come back, we miss you''? It's a commentator who repeatedly called Russian athletes she didn't like (to put it frankly) and said to Zagitova's father after her victorious Olympics: ''Don't get offended, daddy, that many of us loved Evgenia more''.

Commentators who worked with Tarasova admit that she has a big heart that's able to express plenty of positive emotions. But a good person doesn't mean a good specialist, and Mrs Tarasova is an excellent illustration of this statement. A commentator, especially on a federal channel, simply must be objective and preferably impartial, what Tarasova not always can do. It's clear one should support Russians on Russian television, but not this way – obviously preferring one of the athletes to the others.

With her report in Pyeongchang, Tarasova alienated a lion's share of constant figure skating fans and caused misunderstanding among those who watch competitions of our figure skaters once in four years. Everyone heard these painful sentences – ''there is no justice in sport'' and ''give the gold to Medvedeva'' – live. But for some reason, TEFI didn't consider what even Channel One realised having cut these words as incorrect. Tarasova's award, in this case, gives to understand her colleagues that today a commentator doesn't need impartiality.

By Zulfat Shafigullin