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Article

New and old institutions within the Russian media system

The Russian Journal of Communication. 2019. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 6-21.

In this paper, we propose an alternative approach to analysing the current duality of the Russian media system, which for a long time was regarded as transitional. We propose to interpret the current Russian media system in terms of institutional conflict between norms, which were artificially implemented and the grounded informal rules embodied in everyday practices both from market agents and audiences. Mainly implemented after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the norms were based on a neo-liberal representation of the media system, involving financial independence of the media from the state, a ‘news culture’ instead of a ‘propaganda culture’ and so on. At the same time, the informal rules were based on the paternalistic role of the state, the accessibility tradition and the fragmentation of the public sphere. The interaction of such elements forms the dualist or ‘uncertain’ character of the media system.