This article examines agenda-setting theory. I compare the results of Levada Center surveys on the most memorable issues of the month with the number of publications on those issues in the Russian press from 2014 to 2016. In total, 884 issues are analyzed in the article. The results of the study confirm the impact of discussions in the media on people’s attention to an issue. The results also show that the discussions in the media one week before the date of polling are more important than the issues covered over the entire month. People better remember those issues that took place shortly before the polling, as well as those issues with intensifying discussions during the period. It is also important to note the role of regional publications in the sensitization of the public to various issues. Issues covered by national newspapers and news agencies but ignored by the regional press are significantly less remembered by the population.
This article argues that we need to be more cautious with the dichotomy between “corporate” and “alternative” media widely accepted within critical media studies. This division can be misleading, especially if applied to non-Western societies. I explicate my argument using the case study of the Russian alternative radio station, Echo of Moscow, and analyzing its coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests. My research is based on a qualitative content analysis of 73 hard news pieces on OWS that Echo of Moscow released from September 17 to November 18, 2011. The results of my analysis show that Echo’s framing of the OWS was typical “protest paradigm” framing, which corporate media usually employ when covering social protests.
Departing from a critical perspective on intellectual property rights, this article investigates the popular phenomenon of free online file-sharing beyond its hegemonic framing as piracy. The article focuses on the civic potentials entailed in free and participatory culture of new media and ICT. A “civic” focus, in the context of free sharing, aims at assessing the potential of a democratic culture that scholars (Castells, 2009; Dahlgren, 2009) distinguish to be developing through new media and new ICT uses in the everyday life and communication practices of different people worldwide. Empirical research draws on users’ ideas, practices, and experiences of new ICT and file-sharing, contextualized in the local experience of Greece. The local example aims at foregrounding particularistic, sociocultural variants defining cultural practices, while also addressing the controversies of global IP policies. The analysis shows that civic elements may be developed through P2P practices, but they rely on material social experiences, ideological issues, events, and social and communicative relations that are “external” to the realities developing through technologies and digital networks.
This paper suggests that media piracy in Russia is a cultural phenomenon caused largely by long-standing state ideological pressures. It also questions the common approach that considers the issue of piracy in economic or legal terms. In Russia, piracy historically concerns not only copyright issues but also censoring practices, and the sharing of pirated content is a socially acceptable remnant of Soviet times. This paper uses an institutional approach to show how anti-copyright state policy was used in the Soviet time to curtail the freedom of speech. Analysis of the new anti-piracy law reveals that current state policy intended to protect copyright may also be used to control content; moreover, this analysis concludes that the new policy is not likely to curb piracy.
The journalistic coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, involved various media platforms and the flow of information between mass media and social media. This phenomenon is not new; therefore, the research question that motivates this article is to what extent transmedia strategies were effectively applied to the Russian official news coverage of the Sochi Olympic Games. The theoretical framework focuses on transmedia journalism, and the method is based on the analytical model regarding transmedia news coverage of planned events developed by Gambarato and Tárcia. The research findings demonstrate that, although transmedial features are incorporated in the Russian coverage, there is modest content expansion and limited engagement with the audience.
This paper provides a conceptual framework for analyzing parallel (or subversive) media activities in Russia that enable Russian media consumers to act independently from official institutionalized sets of rules and constantly violate both traditional rules (based on great state pressure on content) and the globalized capitalist media economy based on commercial interests. These alternative sets of activities can be interpreted either like an entire parallel public sphere where alternative debate is articulated, or like separate parallel activities recompensing supply and demand failures. Two hypotheses are posed by author. The first states that accessibility of media production in general in Russia is a key element of a contemporary social contract. The second hypothesis relates parallel media practices with certain acts of political activism among narrow groups of the population that could not find places for self-expression in the institutionalized media field and use alternative media outlets (especially blogs and another new media) that ultimately constitute the parallel public sphere.
Communication in social media is increasingly being found to reproduce or even reinforce ethnic prejudice and hostility toward migrants. In Russia of the 2010s, with its world’s second largest immigrant population, polls have detected high levels of hostility of the Russian population toward migranty (migrants), a label attached to resettlers from Central Asia and the Caucasus. We tested the online hostility hypothesis by using the data of 363,000 posts from the Russian-language LiveJournal. We applied data mining, regression analysis, and selective interpretative reading to map bloggers’ attitudes toward migranty, among other ethnicities and nations. Our findings significantly alter the picture drawn from the polls: Migranty neither provoke the biggest amount of discussion nor experience the worst treatment in Russian blogs, in which Americans take the lead. Furthermore, Central Asians and North Caucasians are treated very differently.