Crisis or development? Russian journalists of 2010s about the profession

TitleCrisis or development? Russian journalists of 2010s about the profession
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Anikina, M.
Affiliation (1st Author)Lomonosov Moscow State University
Section or WGJournalism Research and Education Section
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeJRE W4a
Slot Code (Keyword)JRE W4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
Session TitleJournalism Motivations, Practices and Indicators Theme IV: Methods for Quantifying Professional Journalism
Submission ID6549

The latest Freedom House report published in December 2012 mentions Russia as number 128 in the list of 150 countries according to its Press Freedom and Democracy Rank. This position could hardly be considered positive for journalism profession development. General context becomes quite unfriendly for journalists and makes them to overcome diverse barriers and obstacles realizing professional duties and to find their own place in changing social and professional system. Survey of 500 Russian journalists held in 2012 within the frames of international research project “Journalism in change – journalistic professional cultures in Sweden, Russia and Poland” clarifies that journalists’ opinion about profession is ambiguous to certain degree. Half of respondents (49%) consider that level of press freedom in last 5-10 years decreased. At the same time almost one third (29%) find it stable and 15% of respondents see it increasing. As the survey shows almost the same transformations happen with quality of journalism in Russia – 48% of journalists see it decreasing, 29% consider it stable and 18% – increasing. In Russian case it is quite difficult to predict the directions of development taking into account social, political and cultural context. Reflecting it Russian media professionals are quite prudent in their expectations and quite often keep negative orientation, choose pessimistic scenario of journalism profession development. This idea was already voiced by Russian and foreign researchers who spoke about pessimism of the future journalists in the late 2000s [Nygren et al., 2010]. And the survey of 2012 points the complexity of the situation in the field of journalism. It seems interesting that the picture of personal future coincides with the prognosis journalists make about journalism in general. One third of respondents (31%) are sure that the journalism as profession will remain the same as today, 32% predict that it will transform in other type of activity, 22% of survey participants think that the profession will flourish despite the difficulties and 1% give absolutely negative evaluations speaking about gradual vanishing of journalism. Describing their own professional future 33% express the hope to keep their position and to continue collaboration with their medium, 26% expect to change the type of their activity and to come to other sphere, 24% just plan to change the media company but to stay journalists. The level of uncertainty is quite high – 12% say nothing concrete about coming 5 years what correlates to general evaluations spread in Russian society [Russian Public Opinion, 2012]. Survey data show that transformations in different segments of journalism profession are unequal and in diverse cases they could be both the signs of positively oriented development and future crisis of profession. ReferencesNygren Gunnar et al. (2010). Tomorrow’s Journalists. Trends in the Development of the Journalistic Profession as Seen by Swedish and Russian Students Nordicom Review 31(2) pp. 113-133.Russian Public Opinion. Annual. Moscow, Levada-Center, 2012. P. 16.

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