World of Media-2015. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies
The issue includes 9 publications written by media scholars from 4 different Russian cities and one foreign university.
The issue was published in 2015 by the Non-Commercial Partnership “National Association of Mass Media Researchers” in cooperation with the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Part 1. Mass Communication Research: Russian Approaches
This paper deals with the substantiation of prospects of using the communication institutions’ approach to analyze the presentday situation and processes in the media sphere. Under that approach, a primary, fundamental category is the information and communication universum consisting of the two closely related complexes: human knowledge and professional matrices of interaction of subjects producing or sharing such knowledge. Furthermore, the information and communication universum can be divided into arbitrary segments (information and communication spaces): social (mass), public (specialized), and private (interpersonal) communications. The authors lay out their vision of the category “media space”: this term is meant to be used to define the information and communication universum segment where high-end technologies are used for knowledge sharing. The basis of the media space is formed by the means of production and dissemination of socially significant information and information proper. Information producers and consumers regulating the processes in the media space interact with the media space but cannot be considered its elements. Interpersonal relations arising from the process of production, sharing, and consumption of various information products are regulated by sets of principles, standards and rules, which can be called communication institutions. These include media, advertising, PR, literature, art, and others.
Key words: communication institutions approach; information and communication universum; communication institutions; media space; social (mass) communications; public (specialized) communications; private (interpersonal) communications.
This article presents an attempt to distinguish Regional Media Studies as a separate and unique research sphere in contemporary Russian Mass Media Studies. The authors believe defining this research sphere is a logical and justified step that corresponds, on the one hand, to the scientific understanding of the contemporary system of Mass Media and, on the other hand, to the development of adjacent areas of humanitarian and social knowledge. Understanding the specifics of regional media production and media consumption is important not only for understanding current Mass Media processes, but also for the research and assessment of the social and economic situations in the region.
Key words: Regional Media Studies; territorial media behavior; media systems; mediatization.
The Christian concept of the “good life” is well-articulated in the documents of various Christian denominations, but, despite of its accessibility, this idea has a low profile in public opinion and in everyday life of Russians. Based on original empirical surveys and a secondary analysis of sociological data the paper examines the problematic mediatization of the concept of the Christian “good life” in Russia and finds dysfunctions and systematic errors of the process. Communicating Christian concept of the “good life” in Russian secular public sphere encounters three main challenges located in: 1) articulation – lack of content production; 2) communication – lack of channels to translate and 3) interpretation – lack of understanding. Beginning with the analysis of the audience this paper examines various anonymous texts of Russian internet users according to their religiosity, religious identity and attitudes towards God, Orthodox Christianity and the Russian Orthodox Church as an institution. The author proposes a normative model of interactions between media and religion based on the principles of transparency and availability of well-articulated religious values. The model criteria may also be considered as a check-list for empirical evaluation of the mediatization of religious values.
Key words: Christian values; public sphere; mass selfcommunication; spontaneous texts; journalism; mediatization of religion; Russian Orthodox Church; dialogue.
Part 2. Russian Media: Analyzing the Current Trends
Svitich, L., Smirnova, O., Shiryaeva, A., Shkondin, M. (2015). Local Newspaper in Modern Russia: Specifics of Development and Main Trends. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 93-116.
The present article is devoted to the condition of newspapers in small and medium sized Russian cities in 2010. It covers a number of topical issues, including: do local newspapers strive to reflect the most important problems of towns, to what extent do journalists and editors of local newspapers feel independent, how much are local newspapers ready to react to modern technological challenges, how effective are its ways of communication with the readers, what are the economic conditions of the editors offices of local newspapers, etc. This article is written based on a survey of 153 respondents in 66 editors’ offices from 55 Russian towns.
Key words: Russia; local press; the journalist in a local newspaper; the problems of a local newspaper.
This study investigates “Rossijskaya Gazeta’s” (an official publication of the Russian Government; it means “Russian Gazette”) coverage of the 2012 Russian presidential campaign. Overall, coverage of election information was the most common topic (62%), followed by voters (24%) and policy positions (4%). Candidate Putin and his supporters received roughly the same amount of coverage (49% out of all statements in which any candidates and supporters were mentioned) as all other candidates and their supporters combined (51%). “Rossijskaya Gazeta’s” presidential campaign coverage was primarily neutral (63%), with a clear tendency to use a positive tone towards Putin and negative remarks concerning his main opponent Zyuganov. In closing there are data on analogous studies of news coverage of elections in Australia, Canada, Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However, to compare features of the media content in Russia and aforementioned countries was not the main goal of this study. Rather, these data are quite useful in estimating results obtained by this research against a backdrop of other countries.
Key words: news coverage; president; Russia; election campaign; tone; “Rossijskaya Gazeta”.
As a type of periodical press, magazines have the most favorable conditions for actuating their societal and humanitarian potential. The present article resents aggregated results of the periodical press monitoring conducted in 2012 –2014. The research objective is to define the volume and quality of social issues in themed universal and specialized magazines. The research results formed the basis for the evaluation characteristics given in the present article.
Key words: media content; informative agenda; periodical magazine; humanitarian agenda.
Part 3. Journalism Studies in Russia and Abroad
This study explores the complex, scientific, theoretical, and pragmatic characteristics of the new format of analytical media content using digital computer and Internet databases (data journalism). The author, for the first time, identifies the significant transformation of the communication pattern of data journalism on the Internet, and defines data journalism as a new format of media communication. The paper presents the analysis of Russian data journalism projects and for the first time describes a national model of data journalism. Data journalism fundamentally determines new opportunities for the strategic development of media content and media communication; functions of journalism as an element of open public governance and socially integrated communication systems; and for the development of media theory media as well.
Key words: human technology; media; media communication; the Internet; fact; data; data journalism; national model; open governance.
Kulchitskaya, D., Galustyan, A. (2015). Multimedia longread stories as a new format for online journalism: “Snowfall” projects and other experiments with content. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 200-226.
The article examines a new format in online journalism, which is taking shape and developing very fast: multimedia longread stories. Different definitions of this new format are presented. Additionally, the authors try to outline what makes this new phenomenon so popular, and how it differs from other pieces of multimedia content. The second part of the work is devoted to the analysis of Russian multimedia stories, which are inspired by the famous multimedia masterpiece of “The New York Times” – the “Snowfall”.
Key words: multimedia story; media text; presence effect; parallax; online journalism.
Golousova, E. (2015). The reconnection of Crimea as viewed by the Turkish media (following the comparative analysis of “Today’s Zaman”, “Hürriyet Daily News”, “Daily Sabah”, “Good Morning Turkey”, and “Journal of Turkish Weekly”). World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 227-254.
Turkey’s reaction to the Ukrainian crisis and the reconnection of Crimea in particular, was different from the viewpoint presented by the Western media. On the other hand, the Turkish government was placed in quite an ambiguous position – to support Russia’s reconnection of Crimea would have definitely lead to breaking with the West on a political and economic level, something that Turkey would never wish for due to the country’s ambition to be integrated into the European Union. Our main goal was to find out whether the political duality of Turkey influenced the country’s media content. We assumed that the official political agenda would influence the media content. We specifically addressed the Referendum in Crimea, as it was one of the moments when media interest reached its peak. Based on an empirical analysis of the articles published shortly before or after the referendum in Crimea in “Today’s Zaman”, “Hürriyet Daily News”, “Daily Sabah”, “Good Morning Turkey”, and the “Journal of Turkish Weekly”, the author came to a number of conclusions, which to a large extent have proved the original hypothesis to be true.
Key words: Ukrainian crisis; Russian-Turkish relations; Crimea reconnection; Turkish media; news coverage.