The Transformation of the Russian Media in the Face of a New Communications Reality
This project was implemented within the framework of the HSE's Basic Research Programme.
Research Object: A media landscape facing technological changes.
Research Subject: The development of a new media landscape in Russian regions.
Research Purpose: To find ties between the social and economic development of regions and regional media landscapes, to classify regions according to models of organization of communicational identity and analyze the transformation of multi-channel television broadcasting within the framework of the reconfiguration of industrial agents and the business ties between them, and to find the impact of such a transformation on the interpreted media content of television (identities, values) and the transformation of everyday practices of TV viewers.
The theoretical framework of the survey refers to the theory of strategic management and media management, the theory of media consumption, the diffusion of innovations, cultural domination, the theory of cultural studies, and works on regionalistic and media ecology.
The Empirical Basis of the Research: The content of open databases belonging to regional authorities, statistics, interviews with regional television broadcasters collected in 2009 and 2010 during another survey of the Centre of Fundamental Research, in-depth interviews and ethnographic data collected during a survey expedition in a rural area (the Manturovo district of Kostroma region) from 35 households and about 100 respondents.
The main empirical method was the method of in-depth interviews with ethnographic elements on the observation of media consumption (including photos).
Research Results: Key findings of the research suggest that a set of constraints for the linear development of a new communications landscape exists. Such constraints reside in the reconfiguration of the television broadcasting market which will destroy local (at the level of municipalities and cities) identities. A second set of constraints is based on regional disparities, those caused not by socio-economic factors but by factors of geography and territory. A third set of constraints is media consumption. A population obtaining access to multi-channel digital broadcasting (especially a rural population) doesn't transform its everyday practices and image of the world, and doesn't adopt them to a modern way of life. On the contrary, a larger choice of channels is used in the countryside to strengthen and maintain beliefs and values which have already been already.