World of Media-2017. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies

The issue was published in 2017 by the Non-Commercial Partnership “National Association of Mass Media Researchers” in cooperation with the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

LEAD ARTICLE

Frolova, T. (2017) Subject Competence in Journalism: Issues of Responsibility and Ways to Tackle Them. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 13-38.

The content strategies of modern Russian media are frequently subject to criticism by the public sector, researchers and expert groups. The author points to the significant role that subject-matter expertise plays in attempts to raise the quality of media content. The thematic modules employed as a pedagogical technique at Moscow State University’s Faculty of Journalism aim to provide a deep understanding of a range of subject matters and to familiarize students with the special characteristics and/or peculiarities of the operative social spheres. Public sphere journalism is considered for its potential as a beneficial addition to academic programs for young journalists. The article includes the results of a student opinion poll as well as the outcome of a data research focusing on formation of future journalists’ professional and ethical values. 

Key words: social responsibility of the media, media content, media content strategy, journalists subject competence, educational innovation, and thematic module.

ARTICLES

Acharya, B. (2017) Conceptual Evolution of the Digital Divide: A Systematic Review of the Literature over a Period of Five Years (2010 – 2015). World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 41-74.

Throughout the last twenty years the digital divide – a multidimensional concept – has evolved in a manner that takes account of various technological, socio-economic, socio-political, and socio-cultural considerations. The objective of this study is to access recent conceptualizations of the term and to identify emerging considerations. In this paper I employ Okoli and Schabram’s (Okoli, Schabram, 2010) systematic literature review framework as a basis for examining 21 digital divide focused scholarly articles that were selected from 118 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2010 and 2015. The findings suggest that scholarly literature published in this domain during the last five years has identified 42 user attitudes towards technology, motivations for use of technology, and socio-cultural backgrounds as factors influencing the notion of the digital divide. Despite the lack of a widely agreed upon definition of the digital divide, recent conceptualizations appear to be moving away from the traditional emphasis on technological and economic gaps. The central theme of the selected articles is that without addressing long existing socio-economic and sociocultural inequalities, which are real and deep divides, bridging the technological gaps might not end the real issue of digital divide.

Key words: digital divide, conceptual evolution, skills and usage gaps, socio-cultural disparity, systematic literature review.

Krecek, J. (2017) Buying a Gun not to Use it? A Study of the Change in Czech Media Ownership and its Political Instrumentalisation. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 75-98.

This article covers changes to media ownership in the former Eastern Bloc, which first started in the 1990s (de-nationalisation, privatization, the entry of foreign owners), and then by other changes brought by the economic crisis after 2008 (the fleeing of foreign owners, the rise of domestic capital). In the Czech Republic we can talk about another, the third stage of media ownership from 2013, when Andrej Babiš, entrepreneur, the chair of a political party, and later the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, became the owner of the MAFRA Publishing House. 76 The theoretical debate of our contribution looks at the first two historical stages and discusses point-by-point the individual concepts that the literature mentions in this context (party-press parallelism, Italianisation) and some of which may be in conflict with the normative expectations placed on the media in democratic and pluralist societies (business parallelism, impure publishing, instrumentalisation). The subsequent empirical part of the paper is dedicated to this “third stage” of media ownership in the Czech Republic. The method of quantitative content analysis focuses on Babiš’s two dailies, MF Dnes and Lidové noviny, and, by comparison with the contents of other dailies, examines whether there has been political instrumentalisation that has robbed them of their independence so that they side with their owner. The research – in comparison with both expert and public opinion – produced surprising results. Although media siding was measured with the aid of openly expressed sympathy for various political actors or by measuring the attention devoted to each political actor and their arguments, almost no tendency towards partisanship was recorded. The input hypothesis about the pernicious impact of merging political and media power in democratic public debate was found to be false. Interpretation of these results, however, does not mean this danger should not be heeded, and offers three possible explanations as to why there has been no political instrumentalisation in this area so far.

Key words: media ownership, media parallelism, Italianisation, media moguls, instrumentalisation.

Raycheva, L. (2017) Transformations in the Bulgarian Media System: Tendencies and Challenges. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 99-120.

The transition to a civil society and market place economic relationships in Bulgaria have involved a number of challenges to the development of mass media. These include a general insufficiency of financial and technological resources, as well as a lack of professional standards. Media competition stimulated the first dynamic open markets in the country, which established well-developed media consumption patterns. However, although the public was offered a highly varied media menu, expectations that the media would aid the processes of democratization in a purposeful and effective manner proved unrealistically high. Media were in need of transformation themselves. Tracing current political and economic developments in the country, this paper presents the challenges facing the contemporary 100 media system. Emphasis is placed on traditional media (press, radio and television). Tendencies aroused by technologically driven online media are outlined in several aspects: technological, economic, professional, regulatory, educational, scientific, and social.

Key words: media, politics, challenges, tendencies.

Khroul, V. (2017) Christian Media in Russia in the Age of “Networkization”. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 121-142.

This paper analyzes the subsystem of religious media in Russia, with a focus on Christian media and their place in Russia’s media system in the context of “networkization”. The dilemma faced by the Russian Orthodox Church in coming to terms with new digital communication technologies, and the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of using social networks, are considered by specialists in the field. The author underscores three problem areas for Christian media in Russia: (1) the requirement that journalistic endeavors remain subordinate to the goals of proselytization and public relations; (2) a blurry understanding of the target audience, and (3) the use of a barely understandable archaic ecclesiastical language. The author hypothesizes that some recent approaches to the challenge of “networkization” on the part of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant thinkers may hold promising solutions to the problem.

Key words: media, religion, social networks, religious identity, Christians, Russia.

Wilson, J. (2017) Communicating in the Absence of Mobile Telephone Network During the State of Emergency in Borno State, Nigeria. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 143-167.

The role of mobile telephony in Nigeria can never be overemphasised. Little wonder, the astronomical growth in 144 mobile subscribers/users in Nigeria ranks among the top ten mobile phone subscribers/users nations in the world. The growing reliance on mobile telephony by Nigerians for various purposes makes it seemingly an indispensable tool for the smooth running of daily endeavours. The technology has overwhelmed other conventional means of communication that existed and supported communication among Nigerians for ages. For example, the introduction of Global Service for Mobile Networks at the dawn of the new millennium in Nigeria relegated and almost pushed to extinction the likes of Telegram, surface mail or letter writing, land line telephony, radio message, walkie talkie etc. Unfortunately, in 2013, the mobile telephone network was shut down in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states as a counter insurgency measure, when the then government of President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the three States. The use of Thuraya services at a point was also banned by the military in the affected states. While the mobile network was restored in Adamawa and Yobe in July, 2013, Borno state was without mobile telephone network for over 6 months (17th May, 2013 to 3rd December, 2013). What was the nature of daily communication endeavours without the usual mobile telephony among the residence of the affected states? This study examines how residence of Maiduguri were communicating during the period.

Key words: state of emergency, mobile phone network, Borno State, counter insurgency, communicating.

Akpabio, E. (2017) Women in the Tanzanian Media: A Critical Analysis. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 168-183.

Research reports that indicate that women are marginalized in the Southern African and Tanzanian media call for urgent redress. In the specific instance of Tanzania, male sources dominate at 79%, while radio has the lowest proportion of female sources at 13% – women are more likely to be seen than to be heard. Female voices are heard in the “soft” areas such as gender equality and gender-based violence and less so in the fields of mining, labor and housing, each of which registers at a paltry 10%. Their voices start to disappear when they attain the age of 50. Women’s commentary dominates in the categories of beauty contests, and in reports on sex workers and homemaking, and women are more likely to be identified by a personal tag. In the newsroom, women constitute only 25% of print reporters, they are more likely to feature in “soft” news beats, and women occupy just over a quarter of the top management positions and constitute 14% of sources quoted 169 by male reporters. This study, citing best practices, charts the way forward more even gender representation in the Tanzanian media.

Key words: Tanzania, gender, media, SADC Protocol, Africa.

Kumylganova, I. (2017) Ethical Education at Western Schools of Journalism. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 184-199.

Current trends in the public sphere reveal the need for a clearly formulated, objective and socially sanctioned system of ethical requirements to guide the work of mass media professionals. However, the question of ethics in media has yet to be sufficiently investigated on a rigorous theoretical level in Russian media scholarship. The lack of Russian theoretical formulations can be contrasted to the long-standing interest of Western media experts in theoretical understandings of the subjective conditions necessary for journalists to observe ethical requirements in practice. This difference, on the other hand, seems to be leveled, by a shift in public consciousness in both Russia and abroad regarding “formal morality”, which is characterized by bountiful use and abuse of ethical terminology in the modern social lexicon. The 185 outcry for morality expressed in the media often demonstrates only incompetence and a lack of understanding of the real problems. Our research demonstrates that, despite speicialized curricular offerings in journalism programs in both Russian and Western universities in the fields of professional ethics and social responsibility, students do not really acquire a framework for making ethical decisions. This article considers pedagogical traditions in instruction on media ethics in Russia and elsewhere, presents the results of an analysis of several western approaches to courses on journalistic ethics at the university level, and compares the results of disparate teaching methodologies. The study draws on data obtained from foreign scholarly publications, on the author’s interviews with American and European professors, and on classroom observation of relevant courses at Western faculties of journalism.

Key words: social responsibility, professional ethics, practice of ethical education, methodological approaches to studying of journalistic ethics, resolving ethical dilemmas.

Dzyaloshinsky, I. (2017) Violations of the Journalist Ethics: Professional Negligence or a Pattern? World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 200-228.

This article analyzes violations of journalistic ethics in the Russian media. Material for analysis was collected by advanced undergraduates at the Faculty of Journalism, Moscow State University and at the Faculty of Communication, Media and 201 Design of the National Research University/Higher School of Economics. Using the method of intent analysis, students determined types and numbers of violations of journalistic ethics, including the following typological groupings: invasion of privacy; corruption of the minds of children and teenagers; the intrusion of unverifiable agendas (creation of illusive worldviews); instilling heretical views (promoting mysticism); fermenting social aggression and intolerance; destruction of moral principles; creation and intrusion of stereotypes (idols and outcasts); traumatization of mental state (formation of a sense of fear and hopelessness); destruction (damaging) of reputation; and the formation of unrealistic life scenarios. Based on our analysis we conclude that forms of professional behavior considered impermissible in terms of any journalistic code, appear to be “normal” in the actual practice of Russian journalists. Furthermore, we hypothesize that, due to a consistent “logic” in the frequency of such ethics violations on the part of journalists, it would be incorrect to assume that they simply demonstrate professional carelessness. Rather, the violations appear to respond to some public need. This publication accords with the specifications for Science Project No. 15-03-00514/16, and is supported by the Russian Foundation for Humanities: “Media environment: problems of security and rational usage of the communication resources”.

Key words: the journalist professional ethics, media reality, journalism, agenda, the journalist social responsibility.

Kalugina, E. (2017) The Influence of Citizen Journalism on the Internet Media Sector: Demarcation Between Online Media and other Network Resources. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 229-250.

Сurrent trends in the media environment make it necessary to rethink traditional understandings of the media, and journalism in general. The growing popularity of network resources used as a means to obtain information, along with the increasing competition between professional and citizen journalism, together raise the question of what the media is about the Internet. This article attempts to establish criteria to differentiate between online media and other network resources. Based on the scholarly literature and expert assessments, we conclude that these criteria include professionalism, self-positioning as media, and the performance of journalistic functions, audience scale, and 230 compliance with organizational signs of traditional media, as well as the degree of independence. The analysis of social media in the context of these constraints shows that the Internet media sector involves individual segments of the blogosphere, in particular, user blogs that operate on platforms of professional media and blogs functioning on the principle of Internet portals.

Key words: online media, citizen journalism, blogs, social networks, Internet media sector.

Ogwezzy-Ndisika, A., Husseini, S. (2017) Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists in the Digital Age. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 251-280.

The issue of the safety of journalists has become topical the world over. Journalists and media workers around the world are increasingly being targeted, threatened, assaulted and even killed for performing their duties. This anti-press violence absolutely negates the freedom that journalists are supposed to enjoy as they carry out their functions, one of which is to uphold the 252 responsibility and accountability of a government to its people. Drawing on some theoretical insights and citing examples from documented cases of threat of arrest, deaths, withdrawal of broadcast licenses, proscription and general impunity against journalists, this paper examined freedom of expression and safety of journalists in the digital age. The paper argues that journalists, because of the peculiar nature of their work, should be at liberty to gather, hold, express and disseminate information and opinions with neither official nor unofficial restrictions. The paper makes recommendations on how journalists in the digital age can be provided with a safe and secure environment for practice.

Key words: press freedom, mass media, freedom of expression, anti-press violence, digital age

CONTEMPORARY DEBATE

Teplyashina, A. (2017) Media Criticism as a Form of Literary Journalism: Updating Theoretical Approaches to a Meta-genre. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 283-310.

This paper attempts to analyze current practices of literary journalism, manifest in the format of a column as its meta-genre, and media criticism as its global content. Critics mainly focus on 284 media products from such creative industries as modern television, theatre, cinema, as well as on literature and the work of cultural institutions. One of the most prominent journalists concerned with these issues is Tatyana Moskvina. The paper draws attention especially to a definition of literary journalism as a community of creative personalities with different professional backgrounds, working on staff or as freelancers, who are concerned with the most pressing issues and give their reviews in unconventional creative genres.

Key words: meta-genre, literary journalism, column writing, column, media criticism, tradition, tone.

REVIEW

Grabelnikov,A. (2017) Magazines Rabotnitsa and Krestjanka Dealing with Women’s Question in the USSR in 1920-1930s: Model of Propaganda Support to Social Reforms”: Review of the Monograph by O.D. Minajeva. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 313-318.

CONFERENCE REPORT

Gladkova, A. (2017) The Eighth International ‘Moscow Readings’ Conference “Mass Media and Communications-2016”. World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies, 321-323.