This seminar series looks to explore various aspects of the Russian media in the context of de-democratisation and problematic financial model of media management. Since the problems in the Russian media are not unique, they have to be examined within the context of changes that the media around the world is undergoing.
The Russian media faces the same challenges that their European and American counterparts do:
Popularity of fake news and tabloid press;
The dominance of infotainment and opinionated shows;
The decline in printed press;
Financial success of digital media.
Media practitioners and academics require a multifaceted approach to researching the Russian press within the above-mentioned context in order to: (a) survive in the aggressive political and cultural environment; and (b) be prepared for an unavoidable regime change in the future years. We suggest that the role of the media in the evolution of the political regime in Russia will be crucial, if not fundamental. Hence, the seminar series and the final report are tasked with investigating many aspects of media activities (content, management, business, threats and ethics), as well as defining the directions in which Russian media will develop in the age of globalisation. By looking at the level of internal hierarchies within the media outlets and journalistic communities, we want to pose the question of what the role of journalists in the democratisation process should be. For example, what role should the media play in the transition period? Should journalists be drivers of political campaigns against supporters of authoritarian regimes?
Goals of this seminar:
To explore social, cultural, political and economic factors that influence the media in Russia, the FSU countries and the countries with gradually developing democratic systems;
To study diverse models of media as a business project (i.e. paywall, native ads, charity media);
To establish possible ways of promoting media literacy and critical thinking through the media;
To survey and share the experience of media managers from Russia, the EU and the US about developing media in the age of fake news and declining popularity of traditional media;
To determine local and global factors that influence Russian media environment;
To develop a list of recommendations for the media that may serve as catalysts for democratisation in the countries which are currently experiencing an authoritarian turn (Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Poland).