Journalism in Russia Today

Essay by zkhughUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2004

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Two generations of the journalists - Soviet and the post-Soviet - make journalism in contemporary Russia. The difference is in how the young generation quite critically estimates the Soviet experience and thinks that until the crucial reforms of liberalisation journalism was a completely different profession. The basic distinction between the old and the new journalism, according to young generation lies in the approach toward information, particularly what information goes to society and how - understood as the quality of informing society.

In the statement by the former editor-in-chief of the elite magazine Itogy of the company "Media MOST", Sergei Parkhomenko:

... the journalism, in my view, till 1990 worked without sources. The primary source was the author's brains. On rare occasions there was a certain simulation of the source somehow: "a reader's letter", TASS or something like that. But the primary content of the text it was the author's thoughts.

Till the end of 1990 in the domestic journalism there was not a problem of speed... There were not perceptions of the type "I am first, you are second"... In the absence of a competition and the perception about that what information proceeds from source, a certain race had abstract, absolutely unclear for a reader and consumer of this information character. I consider that till that moment while categories of source and tempo became dominant in the journalism this profession did not exist (Parkhomenko 2000, 384-389).

The emerging new journalism to which Parkhomenko refers is characterised by a completely different approach toward information, to its source, to the speed of its acquisition, preciseness of its transmission, strictness of division between information and comment (as represented by Nezavisimaya gazeta). He distinguishes the journalists of two generations as representatives of two different professions: the people working...