Russia's leading T-V channel O-R-T decides on Thursday on a new board in the hope of assuring its political independence.
But critics say the station isn't so much suffering from political bias as pressure from the country's tycoons, who they believe are using the media to further their own economic interests.
Journalists and audiences who hoped that freedom of the press would go hand in hand with Russia's reforms are having a hard time finding independent newspapers and broadcasters.
The Vremya evening news programme used to be the flagship of the Soviet propaganda machine.
Now critics say it has become a tool of Russia's new banking elite, who are fighting for a share of the country's assets being sold off by the government.
Although O-R-T, which is largely state-owned, is naming a new board in an attempt to guarantee political independence, it is thought that the question of who stands will be a battleground for the bankers.
Boris Berezovsky, who President Boris Yeltsin fired last week from his government post for mixing politics with business, has an eight percent share in the station, as well as other media interests.
But while he acknowledges the station's power in Russia, he says that it is his involvement that has made the channel successful.
"In Russia we have created a fairly independent TV channel - one that is able to compete with the commercial stations such as NTV and TV6. ORT has the largest number of viewers and the biggest influence."
SUPER CAPTION: Boris Berezovsky, tycoon
And influence is the name of the game.
While Berezovsky still held a Kremlin post, Yeltsin clamped down on other leading bankers deemed to be using their media interests to attack the president's team of young reformers.
But the bankers helped finance Yeltsin's re-election campaign last year and now blame the reformers for having lost out in the recent lucrative privatisations.
Yet despite Yeltsin's pleas, the war of words continues.
Analysts say that Russia's newspaper industry has defied the laws of the market.
While the old Soviet newspapers still exist, a whole host of new publications have also appeared.
Readership levels have stayed the same yet none of the newspapers has gone to the wall in what may be a sign that the bankers are supporting the market.
And it's not just the experts who've noticed the influence of the media barons.
"I think the newspapers should have their own opinions. But as their new owners tend to dictate to journalists what to write and how to write it's lead to a situation where you only get the owners' point of view and nobody else's. And the situation in television is very much the same."
SUPER CAPTION: Sergei Bogrov, newspaper reader
"Basically you cannot trust anything you read in the media. You have to filter information out from different sources. This obvious brain-washing in the media has increased recently."
SUPER CAPTION: Alexander Perov, Newspaper Reader
Journalists are also complaining about being manipulated and the newspapers on which they work being turned into the public relations window for the country's richest men.
The most notable case was the hostile take-over of the "Izvestiya" newspaper by oil giants Lukoil and Oneximbank, run by Vladimir Pontanin a close ally of first deputy prime minister Anatoly Chubais.
Izvestiya's editor Igor Golembiovsky, opposed the sale, saying it was not just a financial take-over but also an editorial one.
He was finally ousted and has just begun publishing the more independent "New Izvestiya".
"When it comes to the conflict around "Izvestiya", it initially boiled down to me leaving the post as editor. But then 42 journalists from "Izvestiya" decided to leave with me. They left because they did not want to work under anyone's command."
SUPER CAPTION: Igor Golembiovsky, Editor of New Izvestiya
But despite the problems, journalism is still considered a prestige profession.
Thousands of students compete for places at the elite journalism faculty of Moscow State University.
The dean, Yasen Zasursky is a legend in the world of Russian journalism.
He's disappointed that the spirit of Perestroika and press freedom has turned into today's domination by media barons.
But he believes that newspaper sales and viewing figures will fall in a reflection of the lack of credibility of the media owners.
"Russian owners of the media, differently from the western media moguls or tycoons, are trying to keep media on a very short leash. So that they even stop barking and still the media enjoy the popularity when they bark very loudly. So I think our media tycoons should learn how to put media on a long leash."
SUPER CAPTION: Yasen Zasursky, Dean of Journalism Faculty.
These journalism students are learning about the importance of freedom of the press and objectivity.
But if Russia is to become a fully fledged democracy, the country will have to learn how to resist the influence of the media tycoons.