Russian media infrastructure is known to be more developed in big cities compared with smaller settlements. Thus, the rural audience is not a popular object of research. It is believed that the development of new media, including the internet, occurs with a certain delay there, and also the commercial potential of these types of customers is quite low.
Authors of the proposed article are aiming to answer the question: What are the features of internet development and consumption in rural Russia? The research is based on the results of several quantitative surveys, covering all the Russian population including rural residents, as well as two ethnographic research expeditions to the Kostroma and Rostov regions.
Main objective of this article is to show how the configuration of new media and its ties with the traditional media system in Russia is contributing to isolation of opposition and social control favourable to the ruling power coalition. From our point of view the media system does not push the opposition parties to elaborate clear political strategy which marginalises them and extreme polarizing them against the acting political forces. It does not allow the opposition to participate within normal political life through the creation of blocks, coalitions and associations with other parties. All that in turn increases the threat to the ruling power coalition’s security blanket, which pushes it to preserve the power at any price. Such a conclusion is counter to the idea that “new media” is the catalyst of social changes and protest movements (for example in Arab countries). Direct interaction, flexibility and absence of hierarchy in social media allowed some scholars to highlight the peculiar model of such communication channels, supposedly completely free of manipulation and control. Critiques of such “absence of power relations” within so-called egalitarian networks have been done using theories examining power within networks. This article studies Russian social media within the context of the parallel public sphere and examines the political conditions of inclusion/exclusion of oppositional forces into/from public debates.
Transmedia storytelling refers to both fictional and nonfictional narratives that are expanded across different media platforms, inviting the audience to engage and migrate from one medium to another in order to undergo an enriched experience. As a relatively new and elusive subject, it does not have its own specific methods and methodology of analysis. This was my main motivation to propose a transmedia project design analytical model aimed at outlining relevant aspects that could contribute to understand the process of development of transmedia projects. This article first succinctly presents the referred original analytical model to approach cases of transmedia projects and later applies it to Final Punishment, an award-winning multiplatform series produced in Brazil in 2009 by the Portuguese BeActive – one of the pioneer transmedia production companies. The transmedia project focuses on eight women imprisoned in a fictitious high-security prison in Rio de Janeiro. It was possible to conclude that Final Punishment contributed to the development and dissemination of transmedia storytelling in Brazil because in 2009 the country was just crawling in terms of multiplatform media production. Final Punishment gained notoriety not because of its rather limited amplitude in terms of audience reach (million viewers per episode and 115,000 ARG players is not expressive in a continental country such as Brazil), but for its integrated and well-articulated content unfolded across multiple media platforms in a mixture of portmanteau and franchise transmedia type. The inconsistencies generated by the courageous initiative to produce a mockumentary in a country accustomed to mostly trust everything that appears on media, did not take out the brightness of Final Punishment.