Problems Of New Urban Media: Deformation Of Culture And Deformation Media

Abstract

Modernity is the time and place of the emergence of a post-industrial type of urban society. This type differs in many ways from the urban formations of communities that are in the agrarian and industrial stages of social development and interacts with them in different ways: there are many different ways of interaction - different processes and different results within the dialectically related phenomenon of urbanization. Urbanization is also an opportunity for the development of culture and the threat of its deformation. The repeater of popular culture and its “littering” is the new urban media, the main part of which is represented by digital culture media. At the same time, new urban media is an important tool for finding and approving new meanings of life and development of the city and its inhabitants. New urban media are actively involved in the processes of banking and rebranding of urban and adjacent - regional - territories. City media constructs and reconstructs the “city text” in its multiple manifestations. In many countries of socialism and post-socialism, urban processes have had and have certain features, including: the critical shortage of housing in cities, difficulties in obtaining it; a large outflow of people from the village and a shortage of food products; industrial character of cities associated with the cultural and social dependence of the state and life of the population on the success and lives of several enterprises; minimalism of the leisure sphere in small cities and settlements of city type, etc.

Keywords: Democracy of noisegarbage societymeaninpostindustrial societycity textnew (city) urban media

Introduction

Modernity is the time and place of the emergence of a post-industrial type of urban society. This type differs in many ways from the urban formations of communities that are in the agrarian and industrial stages of social development and interacts with them differently: there are many different ways of interaction - different processes and different results within the dialectically related phenomenon of urbanization (L. Wirth. R. Park, E. Burgess and others) and the localization, the interaction of agrarian, industrial and post-industrial areas and the lifestyles of citizens (in megalopolises). Urbanization is also an opportunity for the development of culture and the threat of its deformation. First, it is connected with the existence and development of mass culture and the rapid transformation of mass culture into a "garbage" culture. The repeater of mass culture and its “littering” is the new urban media, the main part of which is represented by digital culture media (Dzyaloshinsky, 2014; Zelentsov, 2015). At the same time, new urban media is an important tool for finding and approving new meanings of life and development of the city and its inhabitants. New urban media are actively involved in the processes of banking and rebranding of urban and adjacent - regional - territories. City media construct and reconstruct the “city text” in its multiple manifestations.

Problem Statement

In the modern, world saturated with digital media devices, the post-industrial, infocommunication culture supplants the previous ones. However, these cultures are far from passive. Like urbanization itself, as an infocommunication culture, they more or less fully exist and are described in the philosophy of the ancient world, the philosophy of the Renaissance, and further in modern history, sociology, psychology, fantasy-fiction and non-fiction literature, etc. Numerous and multidirectional phenomena of reciprocal influence (in the face of migrations and (new) nomadism, terrorism, etc. phenomena, reflecting more or less large and local "clashes of civilizations" in the form of city riots, etc. (Weber, 2017, p. 240-245). Important and interesting points are considered in the works on the territorial behaviour of humans and animals, including the phenomena of territorial aggression and "survival", etc. (Arpentieva, 2015; Bestuzhev-Lada, 2010). In the urban part of the continuum, man has to adapt himself to the way of life for which superficial properties are typical contact, individualized life, excessive psychological stress, in particular, “communicative overwork”.

In many countries of socialism and post-socialism, urban processes have had and have certain features, including:

  • the critical shortage of housing in cities, difficulties in obtaining it;

  • a large outflow of people from the village and a shortage of food products;

  • industrial character of cities associated with the cultural and social dependence of the state and life of the population on the success and lives of several enterprises;

  • minimalism of the leisure sphere in small cities and settlements of city type;

  • "shift" method of settling individual cities, etc.

Now, these processes have been supplemented with the growth of agglomerations and the extinction of small cities (as a result of migration and mortality due to the ruin or destruction of city-forming enterprises and the anti-economic, genocidal and cultural activities of cities and businesses, including targeted genocide using biochemical warfare, etc.).

These features leave a strong imprint on the development of urban media: urban media in many cities, especially small and medium-sized ones, are not able to work in full force, with a full awareness of their mission and ways to achieve it. On the contrary, they are forced to adapt to the demands of the "crowd", as well as the crowd-manipulating government and business structures.

No less active, and sometimes also the power called to be military, work is carried out in the infocommunication sphere (“information wars” - a metaphor firmly embedded in the lexicon of journalism and everyday use in the early twentieth century). Information wars are underway in the city and about the city. The concept of “new urban media” (new urban media, mediapolis,) means publications that are united by a peculiar philosophy or spirit of urbanism — as a style of urban modern life and as a direction of human activity. Such media is a manifestation of progressive urbanization, which actively competes with ruralisation as a “return to basics”, “home”. According to researchers, the “urbanization” of media in Russia is at the beginning of the journey, and this is the city’s Internet newspapers and magazines and other media appear as researchers and observers, and as actors of this process. They contribute to activating, restoring and developing urban public communications of the “stakeholders”, influencing the formation and development of the urban environment, time and space of the city (it’s chronotope). They also contribute to activating, restoring and developing social capital: relationships corresponding to this time and space in the urban community. They do it through the “public storytelling” (narrative 'turn in urban planning) and rebranding (rebranding in urban planning) of territories and individual objects / aspects of city life. These media, continuously introducing more or less new slogans-stereotypes as styles of (self) identification and consumption to the urban audience, mobilize and demobilize the urban population in relation to various forms of activity. So, there are “sofa wars” when the audience is urged to “stay in place”, to seek comfort and satisfaction of all desires, without departing from the source of information - this media. Another example is the use of media in order to activate and unite the efforts of citizens.

Media owners and employees manipulate the mind and behaviour of a city dweller by means of two keys: “switching” and “reprogramming”, (trance) forming normal consciousness into “bricolage”. As a result, people lose their willingness and ability for independent and consistent reflection. The joint activities of several media in one direction, it leads to the maintenance of the phenomenon of “democracy of noise” - one of the mechanisms for maintaining the "junk culture. This culture is slavish, dependent, devoid of individuality and not attempts to overcome the imposed programs and stereo types of consciousness and lifestyle in general.

“Garbage or junk culture” is a type of pseudo-culture of the universal risk society: (re) the production of garbage / noise in the broad sense (domestic, industrial, informational) gradually becomes the main form of social (re) production. New urban media is a vivid example of the production of information and media garbage: a huge amount of pseudo-news and news that have no value for the life of citizens, except for diverting attention from real values and real life. There is, in particular, the permanent reproduction of media, politicians and TNCs, supporting politicians and the media of “junk” conglomerates of half-truths and lies, including gossip, which become the leading form of social information production. Garbage culture refers to the moment when the energy of the processes of decay becomes more energy of the processes of creation. There comes a cultural catastrophe: a violation of the socio-ecological metabolism, in which the more debris, the higher the probability and intensity of its “damaging effect” in all areas, including consciousness.

Research Questions

Under the concept of "new urban media" (mediapolis,), such as "It`s My Sity" in Yekaterinburg, "Downtown" in Voronezh, "Vladivostok-3000", Bigvill "in Samara," The Province "in Irkutsk," NN -Stories "in Nizhny Novgorod," Star "and" Text "in Perm," Sabotage "in Volgograd," Tomsk Obzor "," Public Speech "in Omsk, the Moscow online magazine" The Village ", - practitioners and theorists imply the publication , which combines a kind of philosophy or spirit of urbanism. Urbanism is the style of urban modern life and the direction of human activity. It is obvious that such media is a manifestation of progressive urbanization, which actively competes with ruralization and its idea of “returning to the roots”, “home”. According to researchers, the “urbanization” of media in Russia is at the beginning of the journey, and this is the city’s Internet newspapers and magazines and other media appear as researchers and observers, and as actors of this process.

Today, many experts speak of the global “Americanization of political communication” (Schulz, 2014; Pfetsch, 2019). They say this, bearing in mind the impact of political and psychological innovations in the United States and Britain on political campaigns and the general atmosphere of the life of the society of other countries, including and Russia. In particular, the party democracy of the classic cut turns into a media democratic (Parlow, 2016):

  • the professionalization of political communication, the involvement of analysts of public opinion, PR consultants, advertising and PR agencies in the policy process;

  • active management of events and agendas by parties and political actors with a media orientation;

  • an increase in the role of the personality of the politician in comparison with the content of his message and the general “psychologization” of political communication;

  • toughening of the political struggle due to the fact that parties are increasingly resorting to the so-called negative campaigns, recriminations and black PR (Schulz, 2014, p. 58-59).

Urban media is a product of a partial embodiment of the idea of “crowd politics” or crowd-management technologies, as well as in the distant future, ideas of intersubjective management and “deep” or direct democracy (Arpentieva, 2015; Arpentieva & Gorelova, 2018). These control technologies have become popular in Russia due to the “fashion” on them in the West. At the same time, the position of the actor in Russia is not typical for the population. In recent decades, the population has become accustomed to the fact that the state regards it only as a passive object for repression, consumption and control. The position of the actor, peculiar to intersubjective models of management (whose attempt was introduced in Samara), as well as imitated crowd technologies used in Moscow and other Russian cities, is unreasonably important for the development of civil society or - the restoration of revolutionary “lost” in the process of regionalization. and the all-Russian media of the ideology of consumerism and humility, social connections between people and the moral imperatives of mutual relations (social service, mutual assistance, etc.). As Kolomiets (2014) notes, residents of Russian cities are immersed in the media space in masse and are part of media technologies, their connection with the media is sometimes as important as with specific people. In this sense, new media, including as a product, reflecting the relevant programs of modern cyberpunk and other alternative-protest models of public relations, are needed and will be in demand even more with time (Giddens, 2019; Dzyaloshinsky, 2014; Mironyuk, 2013). It is not by chance that the concept of “mediapolis” is actively developing as a state (quality of life) of society and a person, which is shaped by the intensive development of media technologies, growth of production and use of media products.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to understand the destructive tendencies in the development of modern media, the features and ways of the manifestation of these trends in the activities of new urban media.

Research Methods

The research method is a theoretical analysis of the problems of the emergence and development of modern urban media, destructive tendencies in the development of modern media, as well as highlighting the features and ways of the manifestation of these destructive tendencies in the activities of new urban media.

Findings

Mediapolis acts as a system of behaviours and attitudes, strategies and tactics, norms and values, which, together with a particular media technology, determine the output of products of a particular branch of the cultural industry. Mediapolis also acts as a range of standards — models and values that are offered to the growing the number of people in the context of modern (mass) digital culture (Zelentsov, 2015; Kolomiets, 2014; Korkonosenko, 2012). It is important to note the factor of centralization and decentralization of the media. If the Soviet and post-Soviet media systems were characterized by a significant centralization of the media and the highest level of their work, then the main difference between the same many foreign media systems is the decentralization of the media. Each region, each group and large organization has its own media. They form and transform a unique information space-time, only periodically and partly focusing on the largest media brands of the global level. According to researchers, the results of media decentralization are becoming more active in urbanization and the development of urban theoretical studies and technological developments. As a result, the phenomenon of mediapolis begins to emerge - a city saturated with intersecting, interdependent horizontal and vertical communications. Mediapolis is a collection of a variety of informational contents, structures and processes. Media polis are people who have been massively included in the urban media process and the city management process. These people act as consumers and "fundamental principles" of public opinion (created both by themselves and by the media, business organizations and government agencies). They are also not only consumers, but also subjects, opinion leaders. They are also "slaves" of these opinions. The state and business manipulate the opinion of the citizens with the help of the media, engaging the citizens in relationships and activities that benefit them (but not always needed by the people themselves and the city). The concept of a mediapolis is a continuation of the models of the public sphere of J. Habermas and the media field P. Bourdieu.

Mediapolis is understood simultaneously in several projections (Korkonosenko, 2012):

  • the state (quality of life) of society and man, formed by the intensive development of media technologies, the growth of production and use of media products;

  • the supermaterial environment of a person and society created by media communication and devoid of spatial certainty;

  • methodological toolkit explaining events and processes in the modern world in the light of the production and use of media products;

  • a set of strategies and tactics of behaviours, norms and values, ideas and experiences, which, together with technology, determine the form and content of the release of products of the cultural industry;

  • range of actions and social standards that are being offered to a growing number of people in the context of modern digital culture (Silverstone, 2019).

On the one hand, media is a mediocracy, on the other hand, citizens have an expressed need to speak on socially significant issues. McQuire (2014), however, warns of the ambivalence of such “transformations”: at some point the media are crossing the “digital threshold”, where their “mediation” between urban space and public life sharply activates and goes into more or less intentional control.

Bodrunova (2012) believes that the emergence of a mediocracy is associated with the emergence of asymmetry, an imbalance: such an imbalance in the system “politics - media - media audience”, which implies a merging of media and politics in the process of distribution and administration of powers (p. 203). Such a merger can have several options: the entry of media tycoons and journalists into the political elite, informal relations between politicians and media workers (primarily their leadership), and the transformation of the media into an instrument of control over society by the ruling elite. The term close to mediocracy is netocracy, which is a kind of adaptation of the concept of mediocracy to the modern conditions of the development of the Internet (Glazunova, 2012; Goncharenko, 2018).

Media functions are one of the traditional questions of the theory and practice of journalism. Lasswell (2017) referring to the functions of the media:

  • to monitor or supervise the environment (the function of the fourth power or the role of "watchdogs or public guards");

  • ensuring socio-political and other forms of participation, the relationship of parts of society in compliance with changes in the environment;

  • assignment of status, transfer of social heritage or experience from one generation to another, strengthening social norms and that is, degradation or development of culture (Lasswell, 2017, p. 13);

  • distortion of reality (simulation) and manipulative anesthesia as identification of knowledge about the problems of the day with actions against them in actual apathy (Whitaker, Smith, & Ramsey, 2019);

  • setting the agenda, priming (fixing the installation) and framing (creating a framework for interpreting events and problems) (Castells, 2019, p. 186-187; Goncharenko, 2018).

A particularly important function is the creation of a hyperreality or “culture of real virtuality”, which is little or not at all related to reality, the production of transcendental illusion — that is, its own reality (Smith & Clarke, 2015, p. 25; Castells, 2015, p. 330; Luhmann, 2018, p. 13). Acting as gatekeepers, the media can block discussion of new or important topics, hush up or even distort the meaning of existing problems. This is the topic of false, fake information (factoids, post-truth, fake news), and the problem of the "spiral of silence", and, more importantly, the perspective of "Window J. Overton." At the same time, however, it is important that the audience, especially the audience of the new urban media, is by definition not completely dependent on the media, less censored and unambiguous: “an individual participant [of such communication] gets a chance to choose exactly what suits him, or what he considers it necessary to know by virtue of belonging to a certain circle” (Luhmann, 2018, p. 10-11). Another problem is the rapid commercialization and concentration of property in the copper-sphere (the emergence of media holdings). The result of this process is the simplification of the information provided in urban and other media. Competition between the media for the audience leads to the uniformity of their content (Bourdieu, 2002, p. 37). According to Tsvyar (2015), “free-market competition encourages “modeling” of a message, if only to make it more attractive and therefore “easy to sell”” (p. 99). The bottom line is the transformation of media activities into “infotainment” (information entertainment): attracting an audience with sensational, psychological and simplified information that does not require critical understanding and supports the self-destructive tendencies of the audience and the urban, regional, etc. community in general. This can lead to obviously unethical and illegal actions on the part of the mass media “chasing sensations”: invasions of privacy, hoaxes, etc., instead of expert and, especially, scientific understanding of what is happening (Bourdieu, 2002; Goncharenko, 2018).

Zelentsov (2015) identifies a number of main functions of urban media:

  • Formation of the information agenda of the city.

  • Attraction of attention to certain more or less local problems (according to one or another political order and editorial policy of the publication).

  • Mediatization and mythologization of sociopolitical and other aspects of city life.

  • Formation of a unified information space of the city with the audience being drawn into the general media process. New urban media is an integrator of society.

  • Creation of ideological and axiological attitudes of the urban media audience.

  • Formation and transformation of local urban communities (community as a goal of media platforms).

 Thanks to Freud (1995), the phenomenon of the “terrible” was studied (p. 265). Creepy - associated with the moment when something familiar, understandable, primitive, suddenly opens from an unknown side - appears in the guise of something sinister and incomprehensible, complex and new: in German. As if you stretched out your hand to stroke your cat, and suddenly realized that this is not your cat “eerie” denoted by the word “unheimlich” or “homeless”. McQuire (2014) spread the Freudian theory of horror to modern cities and their media: they are no longer what they seem, and which are rapidly ceasing to be home to their inhabitants. He writes that the development of media technologies is combined with the progressive urbanization of the world, that they penetrate each other and change the life of societies in a key way. Today’s media often dictate lifestyle and ideas about time and space to citizens, affect urban planning and architectural fashion, as well as social life and the “fashion” of the relationship of people in general. At the same time, the media can recover to develop previously lost parts of sociability and social spontaneity (Fraser, 2015).

Lefevre writes that in the new urban ensembles, the absence of spontaneous and organic social life comes to a complete“ privatization ”of existence, because of the excessive consumption of controlled mass media ”(especially television) playing the role of drugs, intimacy disappears from family life (as cited in Stanek, 2011). "Private" life gets stuck in promiscuity, disappears in the stream "of what is called the" democracy of noise" (Fraser, 2015, p. 22-23). Therefore, the media and the “new urbanism” can and should help restore the harmony of private and family life: restore the value of the street and public life of a person in the integrity of their functions, as well as in their transfunctional, that is, aesthetic (as an exhibition of various ordinary and unusual items) and symbolic value. Then family life will be family, and social life will be public. Both of them will take place as important parts of a person’s life, community.

Conclusion

Urbanization in Russia is at the beginning of the journey, and this is the city's Internet newspapers and magazines and other media appear as researchers and observers, and as actors of this process. New urban media contribute to activating, restoring and developing urban public communications of “stakeholders”. Media influence the formation and development of the urban environment, time and space of the city (its chronotope), as well as relationships corresponding to this time and space in the urban community. This impact occurs through the “public storytelling” (narrative 'turn in urban planning) and rebranding (rebranding in urban planning) of territories and individual objects / aspects of city life. New urban media can play a role in both the development and degradation of the urban community: the question is whose interests they protect, what goals they set and what mission they realize. If urban media fall into the temptation of fusion with other tools and institutions of state and economic power, they begin to destroy themselves and the community. On the contrary, by protecting the interests of the community, they can make an important and very significant contribution to the development not only of their region, but of the whole country.

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Kuznetsova, N. V., Slepukhina, G. V., Kamenskaya, E. N., Dykhan, L. B., Bykasova, L. V., & Arpentieva*, M. R. (2019). Problems Of New Urban Media: Deformation Of Culture And Deformation Media. In & Z. Marina Viktorovna (Ed.), Journalistic Text in a New Technological Environment: Achievements and Problems, vol 66. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 644-652). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.08.02.76