Theory of Journalism and Media
«Online Education and “Creative Mythology”: the Phenomenon of Mass Open Online Courses Through the Prism of Critical Media Theory»
This paper considers online education from the perspective of critical media studies and attempts to fit the phenomenon of mass open online courses into the context of such studies related in the first place to the criticism of industrialization of culture and the media. Due to the rise of social media, aggregators and mass usergenerated content, these directions have flourished in the past 20 years, yet so far no one has tried to consider mass open online courses as a new industrialized media product. In this paper, online education is viewed as a new stage of mediatization of education and consequently its industrialization. Therefore, this phenomenon exhibits the properties of other kinds of online media content and problems the given platform generates: globalization and the blurring of national cultural boundaries, a positivist perception of technology as able to solve most complex social problems, precariat and shifting common good concerns from the government and other institutions on to self-employed individuals, increasing commodification (making common good into a market commodity), supremacy of platforms over the format. This complex of problems is part of “creative mythology” built around the phenomenon of “creative industries” and “creativity” in the past 20 years.
Keywords: online education, mass open online courses, media theory, political economy of media, industrialization of culture, creative industries
Ilya V. Kiriya
«New Media and ‘Smart Things’: How Do New Technologies Objectify the Distinction Between ‘Social Intercourse’ and ‘Communication’?»
The terms ‘social intercourse’ (‘obshchenie’) and ‘communication’ are used as identical notions in modern Russian language. Indeed, average language users often apply these words as synonyms while scholars substitute the discussion concerning social intercourse with a conceptual apparatus of communication studies. In this paper, we argue that the development of online technologies necessitates a differentiation between ‘social intercourse’ and ‘communication’. The expansion of new media and ‘smart things’ into everyday life elevates a variety of research questions which can no longer be adequately addressed in the terms developed explicitly for communication studies. We highlight the conceptual distinction in the scholarly usage of the terms ‘social intercourse’ and ‘communication’. We argue that taking into account the specifics of today’s reality researchers should switch their attention and develop a conceptual framework as well as basics for empirical research of the phenomenon of social intercourse.
Keywords: communication, social intercourse, new media, ‘smart things’, digital society
Andrey V. Rezaev, Natalia D. Tregubova
Sociology of Journalism
«Editorial Strategies and the Transformation of Italian Journalists’ Work in the Digital Environment»
The article presents the results of a study conducted in eight Italian local newspapers undergoing digital transformation. Three strategies for organizing the online work of the editorial staff are identified: setting up a special Internet department, distributing the online functions among all editorial staff and creating a convergent editorial board in which journalists combine work in different types of media. The study also shows why some editorial boards cannot work effectively on the web. In addition, in the course of the study some characteristics of working practices of Italian journalists are revealed and compared with those of their Russian counterparts. A comparison of the ways journalists in Russia and in Italy handle information sources is also presented. The study demonstrates that Italian local newspapers have gone online more successfully than Russian regional and city publications: in the Russian local press many newspapers offer only print editions, while all Italian newspapers publish at least a minimal amount of multimedia content on their website.
Keywords: digitalization, convergence, local press, Italy, Internet, strategies
Lyudmila S. Petukhova
«The Influence of Implementation of Web Analytics Tools on Editorial Processes (a Case Study of the Work of Rbc Editorial Staff)»
In the mid-1990s, there was a significant transformation in the relationship between the media and its audiences throughout the world. The rapid growth in popularity of online media outlets and the spread of web analytics systems made it possible to accurately determine the size and characteristics of the audience and effectively identify the topics and even articles that are of greatest interest and thus accelerated a transition from “intuitive understanding” of the audience to its quantitative measurement. These trends did not bypass the largest Russian non-state media holding RBC, whose website has been overtaking its main competitors in traffic for two decades. This article is based on ethnographic observation of the work of RBC editorial staff during one year — from July 1, 2015 to June 31, 2016. It shows the principles of media interaction with web analytics data in a real editorial process. The observation shows that RBC editors sought to obtain accurate information about their audience by using several web analytics systems and carefully analyzing the data. The management of the holding and the editorial staff (chief editor, his deputies and department editors) received a report every morning on twenty most and least popular articles from the previous day, indicating several key characteristics for each of them, from the number of views to the average time that readers spent reading and the sources of traffic. Real-time data on article views also influenced their location on the RBC website: fifteen items with the highest CTR (click-through rate) appeared on the main screen — the page that was first seen by website visitors. In the end, web analytics tools allowed RBC editors and management to stop relying on expert opinions and add more objectivity to the editorial processes focusing on data on the audience’s interaction with the website. The results of such an analysis influence agenda setting, the location of articles on the website and even the overall design of the RBC website.
Keywords: web metrics, web analytics, media audience, audience measurement, online journalism, news, articles
Siranush V. Sharoyan
Television and Radio
«The Radio Newspaper “To All, All, All!” in May 1925: the Content Aspect»
This paper examines an important period in the establishment of Russian radio journalism in its primary form of radio programs – radio newspapers, a prototype of the structure of the broadcasting day in modern radio broadcasting. The texts of the installments are also valuable as historical evidence making it possible to trace the developments in the country and worldwide. This scientific work aimed to carefully study the content of the programs in order to shape the understanding of the radio newspaper as a form of radio journalism in the mid-1920s. The empirical basis consisted of 17 broadcasts of morning and evening installments of the radio newspaper “To All, All, All!” The materials of the time sheet dated from May 11 to May 25, 1925 from the funds of the State Archive of the Russian Federation were introduced into scientific use. The main research method was quantitative and qualitative content analysis used in accordance with a special codifier: the number of installments and materials, size in lines; genres, themes, the main characters, the “geography” of materials, stylistic means, characteristics of the rundown, curious historical facts. The results of the study confirmed the literary and journalistic nature of the morning and evening installments respectively. The radio newspaper’s palette includes various genres, among which such genres as a news item, telegram, report, review, comment, poem and story dominate. There is thematic diversity, the major issues being politics/the work of power structures, economics/production, agriculture/food products, finances/ loans, culture/arts, science/ technology, family life/feelings. In the “geography” of the content, the prevalence of foreign countries is evident. The study proved that the radio newspaper was broadcast as a consistently rundown sound edition; its form carried in itself the foundations of programming and development of radio journalism as a whole.
Keywords: radio journalism, radio newspaper, themes, genres, history, Russia
Olga V. Tikhonova
«Interaction of Theatrical and Other Discourses in Mass Media (Through the Example of the Functioning of Thematic Metaphors)»
The vital theme of the interaction between theatrical and other discourses (political, economic, military, criminal, sport) in contemporary Russian mass media is considered in this article through the example of the functioning of thematic metaphors. The study of the lexical aspect is important for an understanding of the processes which take place as a result of the interaction of discourses and enrich media language with new meanings and means of expression. The very concept of theatricality is not limited to theatrical art but covers various spheres of social life.
This is why the functioning of the vocabulary of theatrical discourse in other
thematic varieties of media discourse is of great interest. It is also
important to trace the return process of the impact of different discourses on
the style and content of materials about theatre. Russian media materials in
different genres are analyzed in the article demonstrating the mutual influence
of theatrical and other discourses. The specificity of the functioning of
thematic metaphors actualizes when the vocabulary from different discourses
becomes metaphorical within the interaction. The mutual influence of theatrical
and other discourses promotes the stylistic diversity of aesthetic and ethical
evaluations in media texts and the perception of theatre art at a new social
and political level.
Keywords: theatrical discourse, media discourse, theatrical vocabulary, thematic metaphor
Margarita M. Gruzdeva
History of Journalism
«Functional Model of Travel Media Text in Travel Magazines of the Early 20th Century»
In early 20th century Russia, travel texts corresponded to a growing tourist audience and industry. Sports tourism (walks, biking, mountaineering), recreational tourism (staying at cottages, resorts), educational tourism (school excursions), cultural and business trips developed. Information support was provided by travel guides and magazines for travelers. Such publications as “Poezdki za granitsu” (1907–1908), “Prekrasnoe daleko” (1912–1915), “Russkaya Riviera” (1915–1916) came into existence. In magazines and guidebooks, there emerged travel media text based on a functional model consisting of seven compulsory elements: 1) presentation of the linguistic frame “another country” and its slots; 2) organizational function; 3) concept of “travel”; 4) detailed route; 5) presence of verbal and non-verbal components of the text; 6) incentive; 7) reflection of ethnic and cultural stereotypes. The number of slots in the frame “another country” determines the type of travel media text: advertising one or detailed one. The organizational function is complemented by entertainment and enlightenment. Travel media text is of aesthetic and cognitive interest for the reader and emphasizes the concept of “travel”, which in Russian linguistic culture is associated with the manifestation of the opposition ours/theirs. The author fixes the main landmarks of the route – the places where the movement stops (hotels, restaurants, museums, viewing points). The incentive of travel media text is connected with the intention to persuade. Recommendation as a speech action distinguishes travel media text from travelogue, ethnographic and political text. Positive ethnic stereotypes are revealed in the text while negative ones are mocked, destroyed or ignored. This is typical of modern travel shows and tourist video blogs. Thus, the model of travel media text that appeared a hundred years ago continues to function in modern Russian mass media, despite changes in media consumption.
Keywords: travel media text, organizational function, tourism, travelogue, concept of “travel”
Ivan V. Kalinin
Criticism and Bibliography
«On Mediatization – in a Cultural Way»
Book review: Hepp A. (2013) Cultures of Mediatization. Cambridge: Polity
Keywords: mediatization, culture
Viktor M. Khroul