This paper discusses the media system of Russia while comparing the concept of media systems developed by Mancini and Daniel in 2004 with other countries. The report aims to ascertain if the strategies of the Russian government to control and regulate the media system are using new methods to do so. Moreover, it seeks to consider whether the tools used are distinct from those used in the traditional media system. The paper traces the changes in the Russian media system and any possible impacts of censorship that seem to control the entire media industry. The paper also gives a general overview of the Russian internet’s statistical data usage and advancement before the non-legal and legal methods concerning the use and regulation of internet media in Russia.
The current media system in Russia has emerged from the state-owned, censored, and state-controlled system of the former Soviet Union, which is very diverse. The statistics show that Russia has more than 7200 TV stations, 1950 radio stations, and more than 45000 print media but only a small number were fully registered and published (David 323). The TV sector is crucial media in Russia and many Asian countries, with inhabitants of Russia viewing and watching for more than 12 days. Currently, the state government owns the most prominent TV channels on behalf of the stakeholders (Zheltukhina et al., 557).
In the last two decades, the identity of Russia has been associated with numerous tension and contradictions, being the center of the geopolitical periphery and empire. Russia has been known for its rigid culture and extreme economic base related to natural resources. Therefore, the media system has played a preeminent role that includes providing communication infrastructure for broad areas, and upholding the development of national identity through the use of media instrumentally (David 323). Currently, the media industry is showing economic interest by conducting advertisements that are becoming new agents and supporters of the Media system. The transformation of Russia’s media system shows an encouraging interplay between the impacts of media globalization and the transitions of the nationally determined post-socialist system.
The approaches of different researchers are critical in this paper when addressing and illustrating the media system of Russia. The research conducted by Mancini and Hallin gave a precise analysis and comparison of western media systems and Russian media systems (Hallin et al.) However, their approach does not include all the required elements of the media system in Russia, as it has emerged from socialism rather than the contemporary capitalist democracy in Russia (Michurina et al., 21). There were approaches outlined by Russian experts and other researchers comparing the changes occurring in the media system of Russia. However, in their last strategies, they commented on the print media market, which is not an essential part of the media system in Russia.
The media system in Russia can be characterized and defined using political parallelism, the systematic development of journalistic courses and professionalism, and state intervention measures in the media system by the Russian government. The trends toward the autonomy of the media system in Russia can only be characterized by the above three dimensions (Litvinenko and Bodrunova 203). However, it is worth concluding that things are not always clear while appreciating that the three approaches did not cover the entire media system in Russia. The approaches will only be of the essence when comparing Russian media systems with other media systems worldwide.
The first approach is the political parallelism concerning the media system of Russia; it describes how the Russian state government has significant impacts, dominance, and influence on the media system of Russia and other Asian countries. In most countries, this is not the case, there is freedom of media, and the government is barred from influencing or controlling the media at all costs, although this is not always the case in Russia. The politics in Russia are exploiting the media sector, including the Radio stations and TV stations. With the advancement of journalistic professionalism, the spectrum tries to complete instrumentalization by shifting from professionalization in Russia (Bykov and Medvedeva 393). In simple terms, Russia seems to be far from professionalization since it emphasizes more on instrumentalization. Nevertheless, it integrates all possible approaches, including the public sphere, to ensure that the media system remains on the best possible level.
In context to these approaches, the Russian media system provides fascinating cases to show how the local media systems interplay with the national and global media systems. Currently, the Russian media as the agent or the representative of both economic and social changes is leading to invalid methods of decentralization and federalization (Vartanova 66). Many researchers argue that the transitional shift of the media system from discourse to consumption of opinions and news started occurring in the 19th century (Kiriya, 202). Currently, as a result of the technological advancement of technology in Russia, the news and information are almost available to every citizen in a free and direct way, unlike in the eras of the Soviet government. However, the private sphere where the information and news were mediated was diminished due to this gradual change. The entire system was typically converted into commercial apparatus in the country.
Other researchers pointed out that the former anti-Soviet political movements were caused by the parallel public sphere initiated by a similar political debate. Such debates primarily drove non-official media usage, especially literature, radio, and westernized cultural ideologies in Russia (Kaminskaya 50). Currently, the Russian media system is applying the basics of the public sphere to collaborate the ideas of experts. This will promote an unfiltered public sphere and facilitate a balanced discussion, flow of ideas and information, and ideas as well as freedom of speech. The influences of Russian Markets are shaping the contemporary mass media, institutions, structures, and economic foundations. In many studies, the purpose of media in any democratic country is to give unbiased news and information. There should be an impartial, fair reflection and diverse views from citizens, not the commercial interests of making capital.
Despite many peculiarities being characterized by the current media system of Russia, the advancement of the media industry seems to be changing profoundly, contrary to the last three decades. The freedom of mass media is guaranteed, and the information is conveyed with bias (Paskhalis et al.). The impacts are similar to other nations, including improved media content and channel diversity, quantitative growth, reconstruction and advancement of the media system, and regionalizing of the media markets. There is also a need to include ICT in the media industry and the entire media infrastructure. Generally, to transform the Russian media system, there is a need to penetrate the media markets into the economic activity of Russian media and collaborate with the journalists and the absolute professionalism.
In conclusion, there is a need to transform the media system of Russia to facilitate freedom of expression and ensure that the information and news are conveyed without bias or influence by the government. Nevertheless, the media industry in Russia is currently being transformed to match those of western countries, where the internet has been used to influence the entire Russian media industry. This is a result of the theoretical expansion of opinion exchange, news customer interaction, and accessible information, as well as the integration of the entire journalism profession in the global media landscape.
The users can easily access foreign media outlets because of the Russian network providers’ fast and convenient internet services. The media can convey local and foreign languages similar to other media systems in other countries, especially in western civilization. The government should join the media system in eliminating any form of biasness or corruption in the entire media infrastructure to facilitate the convenient flow of information and news. The Russian government should integrate search engines and social networks to combine their local media services with the global statement to create a digital media landscape within the country. The networks should be availed to many senders conveying information to a mass audience at any time. Therefore, the Russian government is bound to confront the entire media system and provide and support required to advance the whole sector compared to the former media system. Moreover, to create networks outside the country, the government should set aside global companies that represent the entire Russian media system to reduce the cost of production and increase the consumption rate of the internet.
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