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Article

"Национальное достояние" "нации телезрителей":трансформация российского телевидения (2014-2016)

“National heritage” of “nation of tele-viewers: the transformation of Russian Television”, 2014- 2016 (by Anna Kachkaeva). The article offers an in- sight into the structure of Russian media scene and the main strategies media holdings choose to follow in the new communication media space. All major business deals in 2013-2015 were made by the three major groups of companies – NMG, GPM and VGTRK. Those deals usually involved emerging media or content providers. All groups worked to- ward the integration between each other and within the structures, building a complete management cycle of cinematographic and TV content – from pro- duction to distribution. They would either purchase production companies or channels, or launch addi- tional thematic channels and included them in the cable TV packages of major media holdings. Radio stations and TV channels of small media groups not associated with a small groups of large owners, were bought out. In some cases, the buyer would acquire a blocking stake at Satellite Service Provider Com- pany, or video-on-demand services would merge with the largest distribution network of legal content in Russian internet segment, which would then post the video on Russian online mediums, including VKontakte social network. The outdated concept of classic culture was replaced in the post modernistic media environment by a “mosaic culture” (A.Mol). People have gradually adjusted to the “information blitz” (A.Toffler) – news, videos, news-clips – a constant stream of fragmentary knowledge, facts, evaluations, both true and fiction. The purpose of such a fragmentary stream is to produce emotions, whereas the “live TV wars” maintain a state of gen- eral anxiety in the public. The metaphor of War on Terror activated the Fear Frame (and, consequent- ly, anger and anxiety). The “patriotism” triggered “enthusiasm” and mobilized the society around the leader and the government. Media confrontation became permanent (war as a TV show). Active “war in media” lasting for many months has a significant influence on the public opinion. Traditional meth- ods of media wars – ignoring the facts of casualties and number of losses among the combatants, emo- tional emphasis on the civilian deaths and sufferings are amended with massive fakes sold as true facts, reinforced with a rapid distribution of unverified information in social networks (often staged with specialized media tools by “bots and “trolls”). The three major TV channels – 1TV, Russia 1 and NTV are the main source of news for more than 85% of Russians. They not only over- simplify the world- view, but also produce and distribute the emotions, including reconstructions, stagings and media fakes.