Today's editorial in Russia's financial daily Vedomosti is about well-known bloggers that basically serve as citizen beacons by focusing on particular areas where the respective government agencies have been slow to act. All these bloggers are first of all activists that have dealt with the public service's bureaucracy, incompetence, silence and blatant wrongdoing for many years.
The column mentions some of them together with functions of the respective federal agencies they tend to be performing on their own:
Yevgeny Roizman (@roizmangbn, 888 Twitter followers; 4,002 Facebook followers), head of “City Without Drugs” fund in Yekaterinburg, has been exposing drug trade and providing rehab for its victims for 12 years. He helps and agitates, when needed, the Police, the Prosecutor's Office , the Federal Drug Control Service and others, not forgetting about mass media.
Alexey Navalny (@navalny, 62,807 Twitter followers; 9,733 Facebook followers), Internet whistleblower and minority shareholder of major Russian companies, publicly assesses budget spending, state property management and ensuring rights of shareholders – the functions of the Accounts Chamber, the Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Antimonopoly Service.
Yevgeniya Chirikova (@4irikova, 5,876 Twiter followers), Leader of the Khimki Forest Defenders, by fighting to make the air cleaner for the inhabitants of the town of Khimki, located just outside Moscow on the ever-busy highway to St. Petersburg, performs the functions of Russia's environmental and consumer rights watchdogs.
Olga Romanova (4,998 Facebook followers), journalist and blogger, writes of personal efforts to ensure fair judicial treatment and to free her husband Alexei Kozlov.
The column concludes that the aspiring leaders are incompatible with the ruling elite which means they are ready to become the leaders of the future.
Bloggers rely heavily on social media as means of interconnecting with their citizen audiences. Any attempts by a government to disrupt such communication may widen the gap of misunderstanding between the officials, the bloggers and the rest. Such attempts show how uninformed the governments may be of the constant self-regulatory public opinion shaping process within the social media. Which indicates there is an imminent communications task for PR practitioners and journalists to undertake.