New media in political communication: general approaches
Nowadays, in transformation of the realm of political communication, a more important part is given to so-called «new social media». Previously, political communication was seen as a process of production, dissemination and perception of political information for the purpose of achieving a consent regarding one or another political action. Additionally, communication appeared as a mechanism of one-way information exchange. Under new conditions, political communication becomes a tool of ensuring the process of preparation, making and implementing political decisions. In a modern understanding, an informational message is built by means of specific cooperation between communicants. In this regard, information sources appear as a specific base for state actions. This paper deals with old (traditional) and new social media and lists several characteristics that help distinguish these media. It also shows how authorities and representatives of political opposition can use social media to achieve their political purposes. This article analyses not only benefits but also drawbacks in the application of new information technologies in politics, considering a problem of manipulation as a main disadvantage. It also compares the use of social networks by authorities in Russia and abroad. Because of differences in political culture, social networks are not popular with Russian authorities. However, the number of social networking users among Russian politicians is increasing year by year. Moreover, the most popular network with them is Twitter. A conclusion can be drawn that new media play an important role in creating a system of rules of conduct on the Internet and in establishing a specific culture of electronic communication between representatives of authority and society.