According to the Kremlin website which posted the list of accredited journalists on Friday December 14th, a record-breaking number of journalists, 1,702, have been accredited to highlight the President Vladimir Putin’s traditional annual news conference due to take place on December 20th.
Putin set up a tradition of annual meetings with journalists in 2001. A short break was made only when Putin was Russia’s prime minister, from May 2008 to May 2012. The practice was resumed in 2012 after Putin was elected Russian president for his new, six-year, term.
Putin’s question-and-answer sessions traditionally start at noon. As a rule, they last for several hours. That is why they are often referred to as a ‘big’ news conferences.
As stated by Russian news agency TASS, applications were received from Russian journalists registered with the national mass media watchdog Roscomnadzor and from foreign journalists having the Russian foreign ministry’s accreditation.
The number of journalists accredited to annual news conferences during Putin’s third presidential term never dropped below 1,250. Last year saw a record of 1,640 reporters covering the event.