History Of Journalism And New Media

Abstract

This article is devoted to the analysis of the relationship between disciplines on journalism history and modern digital technologies that are used in new media, because it is unproductive to oppose a historical view on the development of journalism to a modern technologically advanced media process. Journalistic activity is a process in which the experience of predecessors is manifested at a different qualitative level, and above all, technological. But there can be no essential gap since a journalist always works not just with information, but with meanings: verbalized or not. In this article, the originality of new media is determined; their difference from traditional media and the significance of the course on history of journalism in the professional training of a present-day journalist is examined. The strengths and problems of the modern media process are also revealed, especially in the moral, ethical sense, when relativism becomes the dominant moral principle. Particular attention in this article is given to identifying those aspects in which new media are actively used in the educational process as sources of information on the history of journalism, tools by which students independently prepare a popular science product on historical topics, and distribution channels for a journalistic product. The emphasis is on the history of journalism, the study of which allows a current graduate with a journalist diploma to be more competitive in the contemporary media space, where there is still a request for an opinion leader, an author who is able to create detailed problem texts.

Keywords: Historyjournalismnew mediarelativismvalues

Introduction

The digital era of the 21st century is inexorably changing both social realities and personal value orientations: “The intellectual potential of contemporary Russian society is constantly replenished with innovations that multiply the totality of knowledge, axiological and behavioral resources in the vital world of everyday life” (Vladimirova et al., 2020, p. 92), which means “a logical transition to the digital world ... ultimately to the creation of the digital noosphere” (Gorlova et al., 2019, p. 106).

New media is the result of technological progress, which has ambiguous interpretations of their essence in present day research. One can agree that this “definition will never be final” (Stins & Van Fucht, 2008, p. 101). In this work, new media mean contemporary media practice based on digital technologies and meeting such criteria as convergence, interactivity, communication with network resources. These are blogs, social networks, instant messengers, etc., which are available on various modern digital devices (Karyakina, 2010).

Problem Statement

Presently, a student-journalist is already focused on digital technologies that are inseparable from his/her everyday life, but in the process of professional education it is important to teach students to use these technologies to create a journalistic product in which those competencies that students have mastered over the years of study will manifest. ““New media” is a new channel and a new philosophy of creating and consuming media content” (Shestakov, 2011, p. 181). It is necessary to form a professional creator of high-quality media content from a consumer of media content, which in most cases is an applicant entering a university.

An important component in the training of future journalists are courses on the history of journalism. The concept of “history” is often perceived as an idea of the past, of the archaic, irrelevant. However, one can look at history as a valuable experience of predecessors which can be updated. It is not about “reinventing the wheel”, but about “everything new is a well forgotten old”.

The course on the history of journalism gives students an overview of the processes that took place in the world, Russian and regional media industries. History is neither a collection of facts or enumeration of events or an endless list of names and dates. In the history of journalism, one can learn about successful journalistic projects, analyze the reasons for their success, and draw conclusions about the significance of this experience in the modern media process.

Research Questions

3.1. How are courses in history of journalism connected with contemporary media development?

3.2. What aspects are important for a present-day media author?

3.3. How can the capabilities of new media be used in the work on study courses in history of foreign, Russian and regional journalism?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose was to determine the principles of the interconnection of journalistic trends from the past through knowledge of the history of journalism and the processes taking place in it and the present digital media space. Understanding of these relationships contributes to the professional self-identification of journalism students and their creative self-realization.

Research Methods

The major research method is comparative. History reveals the relationship of personal and social, the cause and effect of events. The history of journalism is inseparable from history per se, because journalists record reality by creating either reliable evidence about it or mythologizing what is happening.

If in the conditions of the modern technological process there is a “more and more evident horizontal and vertical “gap” between culture and man - the line of history and the line of “eternity” (Zhukova, 2011, p. 18), then history courses give cultural constants that are correlated with eternity, but can be implemented in the present.

Knowledge of the history of journalism development gives an idea of how the present-day media industry has been formed and how it can develop in the future. This is a condition of professional self-identification of a graduate with a diploma of a journalist. Therefore, the “new media” and the “history of journalism” are closely related to each other. These concepts reflect interconnected processes.

Findings

In modern journalism, new media outperform traditional media in terms of the speed of receiving and disseminating information. However, it must be recognized that traditional media have priority in the quality of processing and presentation of content, as this implies the authors’ professionalism. New media and traditional media are not in polar opposition. The process of interpenetration is obvious. Researchers talk about syncretism, “when the elements of old media are combined into new...” (Stins & Van Fucht, 2008, p. 99). At the same time, one can observe the fact that traditional media actively use new media in their activities, creating accounts on social networks, but the reverse process also takes place: bloggers become journalists; groups in social networks acquire the features of an online publication. For example, the “ChP53” group in the social network “Vkontakte” carried out explicit content transformations that are characteristic of the media, striving for the quality of the information and its reliability.

New media is the digital reality of the XXI century. New media bring new opportunities: broad information, many sources, a variety of interpretations, and an unlimited audience. Virtual reality provides completely different possibilities when “the power of virtual reality transforms the experience of the consumer of news - from just learning about events, a consumer experiences them” (Sukhodolov & Timofeev, 2018, p. 575).

Under these conditions, “the issues of anthroposocial topics, the human dimension of goals and the direction of social development” are becoming increasingly relevant (Pilyushenko, 2018, p. 64) Indeed, as the researchers note, “media reality ignores the opposition of classical rationality and, above all, the clarity of division into subjective and objective reality, on the ideal and material, on reality and fiction” (Savchuk, 2012, p. 37). The possibilities for manipulating public consciousness are becoming almost unlimited. Fake news, fake popular science content - all this is a serious problem of the modern media space.

There is the flow of information without connection between yesterday and tomorrow: the totality of the present, which loses the depth of meaning without a historical projection of understanding. At the same time, the present is like scattered puzzles from which the integral image does not appear: “new means of communication give rise to a new configuration of the subject, the distinctive feature of which is decentration, and in the limit - omnipresence, which, like the dominance of technology over nature, is illusory” (Savchuk, 2012, p. 37). The global nature of information in the Internet space is an ambivalent phenomenon, in terms of personal intellectual abilities knowing everything, a person can know nothing at the same time, since his knowledge of the world is alienated from him.

“At the level of mass consciousness, the problem of self-identification is revealed in the topic of continuity with the historical and cultural tradition of the nation” (Zhukova, 2011, p. 18). History disciplines give a holistic idea of how the modern media reality has been formed, where the self-determination of a journalism student takes place already in the education process.

New media are distinguished by maximum democracy, they lack professional stratification: “the media landscape today is being transformed into a uniform environment, tied to a constant exchange of information among ordinary Internet users” (Shestakov, 2011, p. 181). Everyone can be the author; it is the quality of media content that is important. On the one hand, this is an indicator of social activity, on the other hand, the problem of the reliability of the content is still there, and the skill of checking information from various information sources becomes the professional competence of a journalist. A user of content can resort to various sources to verify information, but the result will depend on the personal qualities and ability to search and find sources and analyze their content.

In the conditions of a constantly changing “media landscape”, value orientations acquire mobility and relativism becomes the leading principle in the field of morality. There are legislative restrictions for a blogger, but there are absolutely no moral and ethical boundaries that are determined solely by the personal qualities of the author. “Technology is changing rapidly, whereas religion, morality, ethic are changing slowly” (Atanov, 2019, p. 213). And this factor cannot be ignored. There is no doubt that “unifying relativism is no less aggressive than progressive fundamentalism or archaic traditionalism and ritualism” (Zhukova, 2011, p. 26).

Relativity of moral standards is dangerous for any society, especially for a professional community. In the process of journalism development, those moral principles were formed that lay the foundation of the journalist’s code of ethics. They largely determine the degree of trust in both the work of a journalist and traditional media. The history of journalism is a value basis for a professional journalist in the new digital reality.

The question of the relationship between new media and the history of journalism can be viewed from a different angle. New media is a way to more effective study of journalism history courses. Digital technologies are all-pervasive: “The interest of education specialists in new media technologies has been growing in recent years” (Pechishchev, 2016, p. 466).

While studying the history of journalism course, students master a number of professional competencies, including the main one - work with information: to find it, to process it, to offer a ready-made popular science product. For independent work on the educational topic, students use Internet resources: texts, photos, videos, and audio materials. Based on this, they prepare various final products: an article with illustrations, a presentation, an educational video. We agree with Pechishchev (2016) who claims that “the use of new media technologies implements the principle of individualization of education, which contributes to independence and enhancing cognitive activity” (p. 468). With the help of new media, the course on the history of journalism is becoming more interesting and relevant for students.

In the educational process, new media function variously:

Sources of content development. There are a large number of digital archives of leading Russian and foreign publications. The sources can be in the electronically accessed libraries and archives, the digital resources of the publications themselves, as well as in groups of various social networks. The history of radio and television programs, TV channels is also available on the Internet. One can find issues of various programs in order to carry out independent scientific research. And most importantly - in a huge stream of information, students learn to find reliable scientific information, avoiding fake popular science content. Content development tool: one can use various programs for the preparation of such educational materials as photo presentation with sound accompaniment, photo collage, and educational film. Educational content distribution channel: while making assignments, students exchange information, sending it to each other by e-mail, in networks, in instant messengers. And finally, the result can be available on the site, in a group of social networks, in the digital archive of the department. For example, the Museum of the History of Novgorod Journalism was created at the Department of Journalism of Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University. However, the main materials of the museum are in the digital archive, where there are photos of pre-revolutionary Novgorod newspapers and magazines, voluminous anthologies with texts from these publications, interviews with Novgorod journalists, and research works by the department faculty and undergraduates, graduate and PhD students. Students work with these resources in the process of mastering a course on the history of Novgorod journalism. This is an excellent example of how new media make the history of regional journalism of the past centuries more accessible for modern students. Using new media in studying the history of journalism enables students to learn to work with them professionally, efficiently, with a public result. Thus, studying the history of journalism, acquiring the skills of popular science journalism, students show the ability to work with new media, where the result will be an intellectual product of a new format. The competence of a student journalist manifests itself both in theoretical knowledge and in practical knowledge of modern media.

Publicism is an important aspect in which the relationship between new media and the history of journalism is obvious. Publicism is a type of journalistic activity that involves the identification, analysis and evaluation of socially significant facts and events in order to actualize them for public opinion, resulting in a change of public practice (Semenova, 2010). According to scientists, robotics in creating news content is a reality: “Robotization of the production of news discourse has become an objective trend in the development of media systems of the XXI century” (Zamkov, 2019, p. 270). Although there is an opinion, that “at the present stage of development of robotic journalism, it is premature to talk about the full automation of journalistic work” (Salnikova, 2019, p. 676). It is important to understand that “the mission of the innovative media companies ... is connected with increased technological and financial risks” (Zamkov et al., 2020, p. 48).

The search engine now determines the information agenda for users, they will find out the news in the feed, but not so much news about the event, as knowledge about its causes and consequences.

In the stream of the present there is a need to look into the social mirror, to understand what is happening and why, what could be the result. In society, there is always a request for an opinion leader, for a publicist. And here is a serious competition between a professional journalist and numerous authors of unlimited Internet. In the browsing top will be the one who knows how to work with information, to structure and analyze it. Public speaking skills are universal, as rhetoric convinces us; its foundations were laid in antiquity. In the history of journalism, the history of publicism is of most interest to the modern “opinion leader”. Publicism in new media is characterized by the universality of aims and objectives, which refers to the world experience of publicists of different eras. However, new media publicism requires laconic expressions of thought: the grace of speech figures should not distract from the meaning of the problem to which the material is devoted. New media enrich the toolkit: the author has access to all possible forms of presenting information today - text, audio, photo, video. The audience of a modern publicist is not limited: it is global, like global new media. But at the same time, one should not forget that the “targeting” of the problem remains, which implies a certain semantic orientation of journalistic speech. A peculiar feature of the new media publicism is the speed of feedback. This is no longer letters from readers to the newspaper and calls to the studio of the program on radio or television; it can be direct communication of the author with those who responded to the material. Paradoxically, this experience is also embedded in the history of journalism: numerous polemics between journalists and publications form discussion skills.

Conclusion

New media is the reality of journalism, which here and now forms its own story. “A developing information space, being a cultural phenomenon at a certain historical stage in the development of society, is formed and lives according to the universal laws of being and thinking” (Zhukova, 2011, p. 19). Therefore, despite the fact that in the conditions of new media, users themselves produce content, it remains the same (Stins & Van Fucht, 2008). The original media text has always been created in the same way: the depth of the topic, clear and convincing argumentation, the logic of the presentation of thoughts, high-quality style of expression. The production of new meanings is the universal task of journalism. The use of modern technologies and communicative practices, including the use of historical experience, increases the level of competence of a student journalist in training, as “the main weapon of a journalist in competition with machines remains his creative skills, original approaches and technologies” (Salnikova, 2019, p. 676). The spiritual, cultural, educational potential is inherent in historic journalistic disciplines, and it serves to develop new media.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

27.05.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.02.154

Online ISSN

2357-1330