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Regular version of the site

Article

The dynamics of public discourse during the coronavirus pandemic: a request for responsibility

The Russian Journal of Communication. 2020. Vol. 12. No. 3. P. 193-214.

The coronavirus epidemic caused not only an explosion of attention in Russian public communication, but the media discourse content also transformed radically during the first months of the 2020 epidemic: from distrust and panic to responsible balanced content. An analysis of this phenomenon allows for a deeper understanding of the evolution of the value-normative characteristics of modern society broadcast in the media. There is a trend of a transition from ill-conceived propaganda of rights to a balance of rights and responsibilities as well as an increase of attention in public discourse to free speech. In addition, there is a trend towards a transition from the dominance of post-truth to manifestations of personal freedom as responsibility. The dynamics of the coronavirus discourse not only fit into this general civilizational trend, but they provided additional impulses for the trend’s further development. Such a shift in emphasis makes it useful to appeal to the concept of parrhesia - a free and responsible "taking the floor" (“word-taking”).