Conflict on the Agenda of Russian News Agencies: a Study in the Context of Constructive Journalism

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Maria M. Lukina

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor at the Chair of New Media and Communication Theory, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Anna V. Tolokonnikova

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor at the Chair of Mass Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia


Section: Modern Journalism: Subjects and Issues

Along with other news values, a conflict is an evident selective criterion for an informatively attractive topic always remaining an essential element of news agendas formulated in textbooks for novice journalists and in the editorial standards of media companies. A conflict is usually associated with such a property of a piece of news as negativity. It is supported by a common professional stereotype: bad news sells. This approach has opponents who adhere to a relatively new concept of constructive journalism, which focuses not on conflicts as such but on the ways to resolve them, it covers not only conflicts as bad news but offers a constructive alternative to conflicts. The authors of the article studied the materials of Russian news agencies for the presence of elements of constructive journalism in them. The content analysis of the news sample allowed them to draw conclusions about the frequency of conflict stories in the news, the preferred types of conflicts and the scale and phases of conflicts. Special attention is paid to the indicators that make it possible to establish the presence or absence of constructive journalism approaches including the likely ways to solve problems, a diversity of “voices”, a variety of presented points of view, positions and resources, of the context and the background of the stories. The authors believe that this kind of information that introduces a constructive framework is absolutely necessary in news agendas for covering various kinds of conflicts and crises.

Keywords: conflict, piece of news, news value, constructive journalism, news agency
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.5.2021.2750


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