Methodology: the method of statistical analysis using SPSS; the method of social network analysis using ORA; the method of theoretical reconstruction.
Empirical base of research: the federal government statistics and national level, official data on public procurement in the field of media. Also empirical base includes the content of federal TV channels used in the analysis of content.
Results of research: In the implementation of the social function of the media, the paternalistic role of the state is still great. The information contracts are the main instrument for the implementation of this function, and they focus on coverage of the important for society topics. However, the absence of an mechanism of getting feedback from the audience leads t the situation when state itself decides what is significant for society, and what is not significant. In reality, contracts which are considered to cover topics of the public interest often produce information about image of the local authorities. It makes such contracts to be an instrument for strengthening political loyalty.
The study showed how global trends are manifested in the structure of the Russian regional media market commercialization which changes relations in the market. The interaction of the state and the media is transformed into a system of market exchanges through the state information contracts. On one hand, such contracts allow government agencies to control the media effectively through the financial dependence, but without participating in the capital of the media. On the other hand, information contracts contribute to the implementation of the social function of media.
The research also showed that the study of cultural environment of the region should involve the theory of domestic and foreign authors on sociology and semiotics of culture and cultural studies. In particular, the study reconstructed the conceptions of Boris Dubin, Yuri Lotman, Marshall McLuhan for subsequent practical application in the analysis of the cultural environment of Russian regions. The cultural specificity of the regions in Russia is largely associated with the degree of alienation in the region, which is associated with high role of oral culture.
Research shown that it is necessary to consider the role of television in the construction of the world picture of the audience, as it participate in community organization, which is significant for regional studies. Media not only reproduce the values and norms, but also participate in their transformation, so the cultural environment of the region should be examined from the perspective of cultural semiotics, which allows to identify the features of semiosphere, the environment of media market. In addition, there are cultural patterns of media, or resistant forms of the structure of knowledge’s organization, by which media environment can be analyzed as an environment that reflects the activity of members of the regional markets, the relationship between the authorities and the companies.
The study also concludes that there is formation of a new paradigm of media rights in Russia, which is significantly different from the old one, based on the Russian media laws passed in 1990-1991. Blogger law is embedded in the new paradigm. The old paradigm was aimed at the liberalization of the media and the mitigation of state control over the media sphere, while the new paradigm increases the dependence of the media (including new media) from the state, increases the formal requirements for the subjects of the media sphere, without taking into account any particular internet nor international Internet governance principles.
Historically, the political factor in Russia has been the main driver for the development of freedom of speech, and the change of the political regime has always led to a rethinking of the concept. Every political regime has used the concept of freedom of speech as a tool to achieve their political goals. Historically, the role of formal rules and institutions for the realization of freedom of speech in Russia for the implementation of this concept has not been significant. At the same time the institutions and laws are also important, because if they are not used to protect the freedom of speech, they are used to suppress it, as the analysis shows. International standards have a superficial effect on the formation of the concept of freedom of speech in Russia, where they have also been used as a tool of political regimes. The modern concept of freedom of speech is closely echoes the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, but its implementation is contrary to Marxist-Leninist theory.