Policy communication is the process of generating, transmitting and exchanging political information, which structures political activity and gives it new meaning. Political communication is a kind of socio-informational field of politics and a tool for the formation of political consciousness. Mass communication contributes to the purposeful formation of public opinion through the introduction into the mass consciousness of evaluations of events and phenomena that are recognized as relevant from the point of view of current actors in political activity. Modern information technologies have a modeling effect on the formation of the political consciousness of young people. Modern youth important that guarantee democracy with temporal states, and control efficiency is achieved by using a variety of communication channels and wide coverage of events. Social networks along with traditional channels of information help a person to form a position and correctly navigate in a complex mosaic of conflicting social processes and make responsible decisions. Agency and media activities are the real manifestation of the freedom of speech, without which all other political rights of the individual is practically non-realizable. Modern information exchange technologies have created the potential for resonating information and political events. This feature puts forward the need for self-identification of individuals and enhances integration, or vice versa, disintegration processes in society.
Keywords: Communicationvirtual realityinformationmediapolitical consciousness
Communication between people - the main condition for the formation of society. Through their interactions, it is the emergence of society, which gets its special person. The nature of communication, adopted in society, also determines the socio-cultural aspects of the formation of the political landscape of modern society. There is a close connection between the methods of information transfer and the involvement of the population in the political life of society.
Modern information and technological innovations have created new conditions for the formation of social relations in society. Mobile communications, virtual social networks and the “second reality” promote active and intensive transfer of political information, involving a large number of people in the political life of society. This expresses the modern specifics of the formation of political consciousness.
Constantly increasing flows of information transmitted by various means of mass communication make the processes of perception, understanding and their evaluation more and more complex. In this regard, the process of forming state standards of social interaction in public policy, the introduction of norms of argumentation and propaganda of political platforms is being actualized (Evseeva, Bashkarev, Pozdeeva, & Tarakanova, 2017; Kostin, Pokrovskaia, & Ababkova, 2017; Supovitz & McGuinn, 2017).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of writing this article was to determine the specificity of the influence of modern media on the formation of the political consciousness of young people.
Research methods were the review of Russian and foreign publications, analytical-synthetic method, content analysis of materials of modern media on social and political issues.
The progress of social development is deterministic and at the same time demonstrates itself in ways of transferring information in the speed and coverage of the population certain information field and streams. The criterion value of the information and communication aspects of the development of society described M. McLuhan. He singled out four communication media that determined the evolution of societies. This is a pre-writing society with an oral-acoustic transmission of information, a written society with phonetic writing, a «Gutenberg galaxy» with printed materials, and electronic civilizations with electronic data carriers and forms of its translation. According to the researcher, «electronic communication» builds the world like a traditional way of life and forms a «global village» in which «a single narrowed space resonates with the battle of tribal drums» (McLuhan, 2013, p. 64). Thus, McLuhan (2013) emphasizes that the consolidation of contact between people through the use of high-speed and advanced technical means contributes not only to the rapid transmission of information, but also to the formation of the context of public opinion, the resonance of events, individual involvement and modelling of public consciousness. Interactions in the «global village» form global communications.
The rapid development of information technology has led to the fact that since the second half of the 1970 they begin to play a qualitatively new role in the economic, social and political life of industrialized countries. It becomes more obvious prevalence of information and communication component of human activity over all its other forms and components, information and knowledge are the main products of the production, in consumption and management.
The emergence of new technologies, the formation of global information networks and systems open up technical and economic possibilities for combining the information resources of human civilization and providing access to them to any person on earth, creating new formats of educational activities and expanding the professional prospects of people (Almazova, Andreeva, & Khalyapina, 2018). In a world shrouded in information networks, what is said or done on one edge immediately responds on the other. The concept of the information society has emerged, which is used to describe the new social system.
Now the term «information society» has taken a firm place in the modern socio-political lexicon. According to the information society under U. Martin understood industrialized society, which is the distinguishing characteristics (Filatova, 2006):
- information factor - the widespread use of information technology in social production;
- social factor - the formation and approval of the information consciousness;
- economic factor - information acts as an economic resource;
- political factor - information is a resource of political power and the formation of a political consciousness of communities;
- cultural factor - recognition of the cultural value of information, which throughout the history of mankind has been a means of transmitting culture.
Global interactions are a fundamentally different kind of communicative acts, when representatives of different cultures, even according to uniform, universal rules and sometimes in a universal language, interact with each other. These rules are global norms that are currently only in the process of development and testing. The search for common grounds for global communication is one of the modern conditions for the formation of a political compromise (Chernysheva, 2018, p. 298-299).
Transformations of local communications into global ones occur due to the active dynamics of information flows, which, according to Castells (2000), form networks. These network flows realize themselves in new forms of interaction - in virtual social networks. Currently, social networks are almost the dominant factor in the formation of political interest and political consciousness among young people.
At the same time, with the complication of the structure of the external world, with the acceleration of the processes occurring in it, a person increasingly depends on information, which practically turns into a kind of «second reality» for him. According to J. Meerovets, modern virtual communications are social contexts of the formation of consciousness, identity, and integration into the reference community (as cited in Glukhov, 2018, p. 158). In addition, thanks to the rapidly growing use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and wearable devices, the rapid dissemination of information in the mobile social networking environment is very important. Using them creates new patterns of interaction and conditions of involvement in social processes (Park, Ryu, & Yang, 2019).
Recently, the importance of information flows has increased for the following reasons (Melyukhin, 1999):
1. The growing need for information, so that information becomes a mass product.
2. Information becomes an economic category.
3. State laws determine information resource policies.
4. Uneven access to information resources leads to social inequality.
5. Dramatically improved technological capabilities of receiving, storing, transmitting and perceiving amounts of information.
The starting point for the analysis of functional and political value characteristics and communication processes can be known «communication algorithm» according to which the communication is considered as an act of unfolding structure as the answer to questions. The formula of communication analysis: «who? - reports that? - how, on what channel? - to whom? - for what purpose? - with what effect? » (Voroshilov, 2005).
Using this algorithm, the authors carried out an analytical review of the Internet sites of TV channels included in the first and second multiplexes (“First”, “Russia 1”, “NTV”, “TVC”) and also periodicals, which in the print version retain their popularity among the population (“Kommersant”, “Moskovsky Komsomolets”, “Arguments and Facts”, “Komsomolskaya Pravda”).
Modern models of political interaction in addition to the direct impact have an indirect effect through the introduction of the entertainment component. The specifics of entertainment information in the context of political, transmitted by the media, is another factor affecting the ability of the public to exert control over the implementation of public policy. The purpose of entertainment informational influence on the mass consciousness is, above all, to obtain a commercial advantage. The result of such an impact is often the formation of consumers of information lack of the need to “do something and think”, to develop in any direction of activity, which leads to the formation of passive members of society who do not want to take an active part in the direction of various social practices established within basic social institutions of economics, politics, family, education, etc., and often operating contrary to these practices.
There are a number of features in the media policy (as reflected in publications on Internet sites). Media product promotion is usually built by integrating the classic components of marketing communications (advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing) in the context of political trends. Political events determine the content, the plot of marketing clips.
The construction of the communication policy of online media is based on the specifics of the target audience of viewers. At the same time, media relations play a special role today in the activities of online media, which represents a system of controlled effective influences on viewers with the potential of mind modelling.
A significant feature of Russian media is the dependence of the media on the state, which forms the alarming trend of a worsening situation with freedom of speech in most countries. One of the most common and most controversial - and not only for modern Russia - options for the existence of "dependent" publications is the dependence of some media, partially or completely, on the state. Judging by the ongoing discussion in Russia today, this kind of press is based journalists and various members of the public considerably more concerns and fears, including for the state of a democratic society than all other types of media dependency. One of the problems of Russian society is the impossibility of establishing a direct link between the economic and political independence of the media. The small share of mass media that self-repay and at the same time fulfil the main goal of their activity - to inform honestly, impartially, objectively and protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, is experiencing a “suffocating” influence from both political forces and business structures.
Politics, being the most important of the subsystems and elements of society as an integrated system, ensures the sustainability of processes by regulating the relationships of people, thereby contributing to the preservation of society as such. Since the emergence of public political power, instruments have been formed to influence people's consciousness, namely, political consciousness. This is the propaganda function of communication and communication technology. Mass communication of citizens in the digital age is declared a means of countering elite propaganda, but it also provides a forum for disinformation, aggression and hostility (Sparkes-Vian, 2019).
The state as a political institution in the system of communication activities plays a special role, which consists in the fact that it performs both administrative and political regulation. The activity of political institutions takes place in the communicative space, which covers all spheres and structures of society - from social institutions to individual individuals. The role of communication in the modern world of ever-increasing informatization is truly difficult to overestimate. Political communication is a semantic aspect of the interaction of political actors through the exchange of information in the process of struggle for power or its implementation (Vershinin, 2001).
Considering the media's ability to influence the results of the functioning of a political social institution, the following aspects of influence should be noted:
informing voters about the views of politicians and leaders and the consequences of their actions;
informing citizens about the results of state policy;
defining news topics or taking a certain position on political, social or economic issues, influencing the behavior and attitudes, voices of consumers of media products.
The effective influence of the media on the implementation of state policy is expressed in enabling the population to exercise control over the implementation of state power, which may not necessarily be expressed in the active actions of the public.
The exchange of information necessary for political communication is one of the main points ensuring this process. The exchange can occur at three levels: individual communication, group and mass. The role of interpersonal and intergroup communication in the political sphere can be defined as informational. It is implemented as the exchange of information between various structures of society.
The level of mass communication plays a fundamentally different role - it contributes to the purposeful formation of public opinion by introducing into the mass consciousness assessments of events and phenomena that are recognized as relevant from the point of view of the active actors in political activity. Subjects of political activity seeking to gain or retain power face the need to attract the largest number of citizens to their side, since the inclusion of a mass audience is a necessary condition for the existence of politics as a system.
Subjects of mass communication of the dominant social class, stratum occupy a leading position in society and have the most favourable conditions for outreach activities. The dominant ideas of any time are always the ideas of the dominant class. Of course, such a class directs the activities of state institutions and seeks to control the main means of communication, ideological institutions. Depending on the level of the political culture of society, he does this in democratic or authoritarian ways, alone or with an ally, with or without the opinions and opinions of the masses. Public opinion is formed primarily under the influence of the media. And of course, political elites are trying to make public opinion, or at least the majority of it, lean in their favour.
The media can equally integrate and disintegrate society. Under the conditions of a stable political system, mass media can contribute to its improvement through diverse forms of integration interaction, otherwise it can actively contribute to the development and aggravation of political conflicts, activation of misunderstanding processes at the personal and mass levels. Mass media can cause changes in the moods of people and society as a whole - intentionally or not intentionally, significantly or insignificantly. The mass communication can strengthen existing public opinion and drastically change it; prevent emerging changes and intensify them; promote the emergence of new orientations in society and stop them.
The presence of developed, democratically organized media communications that objectively cover political events is one of the most important guarantees of the stability of a democratic state and the effectiveness of governing society. Without radio, television, newspapers, magazines and the Internet, even a well-educated person will not be able to correctly navigate a complex mosaic of conflicting social processes and make responsible decisions. The media allow him to go beyond the narrow horizon of direct individual experience. A free institution and media activities are a real manifestation of freedom of speech, without which all other political rights of an individual are practically unrealizable. By expanding the communication space and increasing the number of means of communication, the foundations of political literacy, one of the components of the educational program, are being formed, for example, in the UK (Hopkins & Coster, 2019).
The main reason for the media to conquer an important place in the political life of modern societies is that with their help the state and other political actors can not only inform the population about the goals and values of their policies, but also model public relations regarding the formation of representative bodies of power and the ruling elites , maintaining relevant goals, traditions and stereotypes. Thus, the media are a powerful tool for purposeful construction of political orders, a means of building the necessary power of relations and public relations.
Historical experience shows that political actors have always taken the most active measures to exercise control over the media. This is explained by the fact that a hundred means of mass communication always possessed a certain power, and in the era of the information technology revolution their specific set of means and methods of influencing the audience expanded significantly.
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02 December 2019
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Sidorov, N., & Beschasnaya*, A. (2019). Information And Communication Aspects Of The Formation Of Political Consciousness. In N. I. Almazova, A. V. Rubtsova, & D. S. Bylieva (Eds.), Professional Сulture of the Specialist of the Future, vol 73. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 179-185). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.20