Social Role of Journalism in Nowadays Discussions Context

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Galina V. Lazutina

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher at the Chair of Periodical Press, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia


Section: Theory of Journalism and Media

The article is devoted to distinguishing the reasons, which cause a contradiction between the real state and the expected state in journalism. In the journalism community this contradiction is viewed as replacing journalism by propaganda (this is the way this issue was discussed during the conference of the experts from the Public board on press complaints and the Union of Russian journalists). The article presents the points, which were accumulated during the study of the information environment, which was conducted at the Faculty of Journalism, Moscow State University. The author specifies the meanings of the terms ‘propaganda’ and ‘journalism’, after that based on a cybernetic approach tries to distinguish the key particularities in the system of journalism functions. The novelty of the article lies in the fact that it shows this peculiar feature: journalism simultaneously participates in two frameworks of regulating social life, which underlines its double social role. The contradiction between the expected and the real state in journalism functioning happens when the authorities ignore this fact, which is characteristic for states with authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. Showing the results of the study, the author comments on the state of the information environment in Russia. The main idea of the article is the following: for an optimal operation of journalism it should be regarded as public good and it should be patronized by society.

Keywords: journalism, propaganda, system of functions, social role, contours of regulation, authorities, public good

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