Linguistic Component Of Professional Media Education
The article discusses the problem of linguistic education in the training of media leaders - journalists, press secretaries, media managers. The experience of teaching medial linguistics at the journalism department of NovSU is analyzed, while those important attitudes that distinguish such teaching from traditional courses in stylistics and literary editing are noted. It is argued that the teaching of media linguistics is based on the ideas of the corresponding science of language, which has been developing dynamically in Russia for the past decade and a half. It is argued that the linguistic component of media education includes the formation of language, speech, and linguistic (theoretical) competencies. Particular attention is paid to the inclusion of the texts of the regional media field in the educational process. When analyzing the work programs developed and implemented at the department, it is noted that the first part of the course (applied) is text-centric, while the media text is analyzed in graphic and on-air implementations, hence the attention to the culture of writing and the orthoepic culture of a journalist. The second part of the course is problem-centered, problems are considered based on the latest publications in leading journals and media research. In comprehending the media practice and the problems of medialinguistics, the students set their own speech activity and their published texts, which increases the proportion of auto-editing during practical classes. The conclusions of the study formulate the principles of the linguistic component of media education in a regional university.
Keywords: Linguisticsmedia educationmedia linguisticsRussian languagetext-centricity
The concept of "media education" is becoming more widespread, which, in particular, is evidenced by the presence of a special magazine publishing materials about this phenomenon in our country and abroad – Media education: Russian Journal of the History, Theory and Practice of Media Pedagogy (Media education, n.d.). It is obvious that two directions have formed in it with a variety of approaches to the problems of media education.
The first, which is called mass media education, involves preparing for participation in media communication as a recipient – reader, listener, viewer, Internet user; the result of such media education is media literacy; it can be acquired by both adults and children, including schoolchildren (Vartanova, 2010).
The second direction of media education involves the training of media managers, that is, those who play the role of an author in media communication – journalists, press secretaries, PR managers, advertisers, media managers, editors. The result of this area of media education is obtaining a media profession, in connection with which it is commonly called professional.
This work is devoted to one of the problems of professional media education in the framework of the university training of media at the Department of Journalism, namely the linguistic component of professional media education. This is one of the eternal problems of journalism education, since the creation of texts and their editing is the main component of the work of journalists (Alevizaki et al., 2019).
The relevance of this problem is determined by the fact that the linguistic component of journalistic work is now being rethought in the framework of not journalism, but media communication, which is analyzed in the projection on media education (Kolomiets, 2019a, 2019b). Some disappointment in the “philological centricity” of traditional journalistic education, which is expressed, for example, in (Kolomiets, 2019b), does not remove the issues of linguistic training of media specialists, but leads to new aspects of the problem, a rethinking of the content of linguistic disciplines and the nature of their teaching.
In connection with the radical changes in the media sphere and the demands of the media industry in the teaching of linguistic disciplines, a number of questions arise.
How to take into account the current trends in linguistic practice in the media sphere in the specialty "Journalism"?
What new knowledge needs to be introduced into the linguistic component of media training?
How to correlate theoretical knowledge of the language of the media sphere with practical preparation for media activity?
The answers to these questions are further proposed based primarily on the experience of teaching linguistic disciplines at the Journalism Department of Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University, as well as other University departments that discuss the problem identified here in scientific publications.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this article is to formulate the optimal principles of the linguistic component of media education, taking into account current trends in media communication and teaching conditions at a regional university. These principles determine the nature of the construction of linguistic training for media people, which allows them to acquire not only the ability to create media texts for various media institutions, including social networks, but also the ability to analyze them at the level of modern linguistic science, interpret them in accordance with the trends in the modern media sphere, stylistic parameters of media texts and communicative situations.
The methodology of this work is based on the distinction between language, verbal and linguistic (theoretical) competencies of the media agent, and, consequently, of the corresponding types of professional training.
Language competence consists in the possession of language resources, primarily in their normative aspect; assessments of linguistic competence arise most often in a situation of its negative manifestation - the detection of errors in texts that become the subject of discussion in the professional community or by the addressee. Our society is most sensitive to spelling or punctuation errors, however, such errors can really relate to the formation of words, the compatibility of words and forms, the design of syntactic structures (Lashchuk, 2017). A positive manifestation of a high level of linguistic competence is observed in such situations when someone is considered an authority on the linguistic embodiment of the text and is referred to in a problem case.
Speech competence consists in owning textures of speech (from oral to computer), switching in the areas of speech (from everyday to official and scientific), evaluating the communicative situation and the appropriate language means and speech behavior in each of them, and mastering speech genres in different areas. The high level of speech competence of a media person consists mainly in the possession of media genres - both classic (reportage, sketch, review, analytical article, essay), and new (news, press release, longread, listle), the ability to transform genres from one to another if necessary. Linguistic competence consists in the possession of a linguistic analysis apparatus, appropriate terminology, the ability to explain linguistic failures and speech malfunctions using linguistic concepts. It is important to emphasize that linguistic competence can contribute to the improvement of linguistic and speech competencies, since it includes the most important point in explaining the choice of linguistic means or speech actions, linguistic and speech reflection.
Distinguishing these competencies allows us to evaluate various aspects of work programs and specific tasks offered to students during the study of medialinguistics in terms of their didactic effectiveness. Distinguishing competencies is essential for building linguodidactics at all levels.
When analyzing training programs, a method is used to compare their linguodidactic principles with the provisions of medialinguistics, on the one hand, and with the needs of modern media communication and the media market, on the other.
The material for this work was the programs of the disciplines “Medialinguistics” and “Medialinguistics: Theoretical Aspect”, prepared at the Department of Journalism of NovSU and implemented as part of the bachelor's and master's curriculum.
University training of journalists and other media outlets comes from the fact that language competence is acquired mainly at school; speech competence as the ability to quickly create the text of the desired content and genre is trained as part of the study of special disciplines starting with “Introduction to Journalism” and in the course of practice. The purpose of the linguistic component of media education is to form a theoretical approach to media speech activity and language competence along with the perfection and professionalization of these competencies. Teaching is based on the achievements of media linguistics as a new area of linguistics that studies the functioning of the Russian language in the media sphere; the state of medialinguistics can be judged on the site “Medialinguistics. XXI Century”, the journal “Medialinguistics”, reference book (Duskayeva et al., 2018).
As a result of repeated changes in the program in media linguistics (in connection with the transition to undergraduate and graduate programs, a modular system), a strategy for linguistic preparation has been developed at the journalism department: the discipline “Media linguistics” is presented in undergraduate and graduate programs (the program “Modern Media Sphere”), while the applied aspect of the discipline is studied at the undergraduate level and theoretical aspect-in magistracy.
The work program of the discipline “Medialinguistics” in the undergraduate program is text-centric, which is theoretically and methodologically justified in (Shmeleva, 2014). Its contents are fragments of “Grammar and stylistics of media text”, “Resources of media text: lexical and grammatical”, “Expressive media of media text”, “Editing of media text”. At the same time, the media text is meant in two forms - graphic (print and online) and on-air, which is most important for editing and for understanding the “orthoepic media standard” (Veshchikova, 2019, p. 190), which includes the special section “Media text on the air”.
The applied aspect of media linguistics will provide the ability to create and edit media text, which is possible only when the journalist has modern ideas about the standards of media text and its stylistic parameters. Therefore, the student is engaged in editing after studying each section of the grammar and style of the text, taking into account its genre and the editorial policy of the media institution that publishes it. In this regard, the idea of media genres is the basis of knowledge about the principles of editing. Editing classes are held in the audience, where it is possible to listen to and discuss a number of options, evaluating the stylistic qualities of each of them. Special attention is paid to editing the ethereal text, which imposes special requirements on the grammar of the text and word use (Veshchikova, 2019).
The teaching of media linguistics in the applied aspect is based on a textbook published specifically for students of journalism departments and orienting students to the language of media (Duskayeva, 2014). It is important to emphasize that the textbook contains the section “Grammar of the text”, which includes the author’s beginning, thematic basis and rheumatic plot, which allows building a text-centric media-linguistics course.
Since the discipline is studied in the 4th year, it is possible to analyze texts that have already been published by students as part of the practice, which allows us to draw a line to the reflective perception of medialinguistic concepts. Reflexivity attitude creates special conditions for self-assessment of speech activity and the formation of motivation (Bedenko et al., Klychkov, 2019; Sergeev et al., 2018). It is fundamentally different from the activities of a journalist in the last century, when the last word was left to the editor and proofreader, and the latter strictly followed the norms formulated in reference books and dictionaries, as a rule, not knowing alternatives, which freed the journalist from reflection on their own texts. Work in modern publications, where the corrector has become a rarity, assigns all responsibility for the quality of the text to its author, for which classes prepare with a focus on linguistic and reflexivity.
Thus, bachelor's degree in media linguistics is taught in a text-centric and reflective manner, taking into account modern media linguistic knowledge, which allows the student to acquire the ability not only to create, but also to edit a variety of media texts, including advertising and PR (Kaminskaya, 2018). Moreover, in each genre, attention is drawn to specific means of expression (Novikova & Novikov, 2019), including verbal and visual ones (Shaklein et al., 2019).
In the framework of the Master's Degree program, media linguistics is studied differently: the discipline is called “Media linguistics: a theoretical aspect” and its teaching program is problem-centered. It is necessary to study the theoretical heritage of media linguistics seriously, starting with the work (Vinokur, 2006) to comprehend media linguistics theoretically as a phenomenon of modern science of language and at the same time modern media research. The main part of the course is comprehension of the concept of medialinguistics, which consists of three sections – media speech, media linguistics and media stylistics.
This author’s concept of medialinguistics, which is based on the experience of research and teaching, allows seeing how the ideas of general philology, classical linguistics and speech are integrated into the knowledge system that provides the opportunity to explain the functioning of the language in the medical field. The concepts of intentionality, speech texture, speech sphere allow seeing the differentiation of the media sphere in these aspects, given the expansion of the digital era (Dombrovskaya et al., 2019; Muzychuk & Anokhov, 2020). Such an approach allows seeing the complexity of the modern media sphere as the correspondence of its multinationality, multifactoriality and polysphericity. So, multi-intentionality explains coexistence of news journalism with its general intention to inform about current events in the media sphere, analytical – with its intention to explain, referring to the racio addressee; journalistic, appealing to emotions; PR and GR with their tendency to improve the image of corporations and the state; advertisements with its intention to induce consumption and social behavior (social advertising); social networks with their intention of self-expression.
Undergraduates discuss complex theoretical issues of building media linguistics taking into account the various ideas expressed during its short history. It should be emphasized that the discipline “Medialinguistics: Theoretical Aspect” follows the “Methodology of Media Research”, which creates a good background for the perception of medialinguistics in the circle of media research.
Thus, the analyzed system of teaching medial linguistics combines practical orientation and theoretical, addressing problems that have not yet received universally accepted solutions. It seems that this combination focuses students on professional activities and at the same time its analysis using the concepts of modern science, expands the theoretical view of the language of the media sphere. The installation of professional and linguistic reflection practiced during teaching becomes the foundation of conscious handling of the language in professional activities, the ability of the future media manager to independently make orthoepic and stylistic decisions, and to build a stylistic strategy for his own activity. Such a linguodidactic strategy seems to meet modern requirements of both science and the media market.
Answering the questions posed, it should be emphasized that the linguistic component of media education takes into account modern trends in media practice, comprehending new genres of the media sphere and active expressive means. Knowledge of this enhances the linguistic competence of future journalists, opening up opportunities for them to successfully integrate into modern media practice.
The principles of the linguistic preparation of the media agent can be formulated as follows: the formation of linguistic, speech and theoretical competencies; orientation to the language of the modern media sphere and the best media texts in different genres, including texts of a regional media field; reflexion of own speech activity and auto-editing.
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