Deputy Minister of Digital Development of the Russian Federation: “The Main Feature of Journalism is the Ability to Tell a Story”

Three important for media sphere workers events took place in Chelyabinsk from 11th through 13th of September: the 5th All-Russian Forum of Regional Mass Media entitled “Trajectory of the meaning: regional mass media on the way to efficiency and competitiveness”; “Inforoom” of the Russian Union of Journalists, and the 20th Festival of Mass Media of the Chelyabinsk region. One of the events’ venues was South Ural State University.

On September 12, the acknowledged journalists of our country – Aleksey Volin, the Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation, and Aleksey Venediktov, chief editor of Echo of Moscow radio station, – met with students of the SUSU Faculty of Journalism and answered the most urgent questions about working in mass media. In his welcoming speech, Aleksey Venediktov talked about the role of a journalist and the possibilities that get opened to all Internet users at the modern stage of the society’s development.

“In my mind, the profession of a journalist changes its orientation. Each person with an account in a social network performs the function of a journalist: he or she collects and spreads information by creating one’s own informational flows. For example, if you’ve written in your wall post that the new episode of The Game of Thrones is just two hours of wasted time, this post can already be called a review, and your followers will take into account the expressed opinion. Besides, the Internet makes our possibilities equal – you can communicate with whoever you want, even with presidents of other countries and regional leaders, because many politicians and public persons have an account in social networks and communicate with the audience.”

Aleksey Venedictov also noted that nowadays there is a visible difference between the way that the Internet used by young people and by representatives of the older generation: for the first ones, the Internet is a tool for obtaining information for decision making, the second ones consider the contemporary informational space is an environment in which they live. Young people basically communicate with like-minded people, creating their own virtual world, because of which an “incapsulation” of a person takes place. Going on talking about working in the media, Aleksey Venediktov talked about a conversation with a well-known blogger Yury Dud and noted that success of his project lies not only in a certain boldness, but also in thorough preparation for each interview.

Deputy Minister of Digital Development of the Russian Federation, Aleksey Volin, highlighted the fact that digital environment caused a revolution at the advertising market, and nowadays, posting an advertisement in the content of an article or inserting it in a program requires specific skills. Therefore, every editor’s office has to at some extent turn into an independent advertising agency. Aleksey Volin also shared his opinion on the future of journalism in the Age of society digitalisation:

“If journalism remains in strictly traditional form, it will face the fate of dinosaurs. It should master all contemporary forms of multimedia, such as social networks and messengers. At that, however, journalism should preserve its main distinctive feature – the ability to tell a story. In this regard, people frequently recall that in some countries there are robots which select information, process it and present the content, and therefore journalists are afraid of not being in-demand anymore. This is wrong: robots will never be able to tell an interesting story – they don’t have the sense of humor, they can’t communicate using associations, or bring out emotions. And the ability to spread a story via the modern communication channels that I mentioned is the key to survival in journalism.”

Aleksey Volin noted that the audience should not completely rely on information provided by mass media. He also emphasized that journalists themselves should always aspire for presenting a reliable and interesting content.

Overall, communication of students with the chief editor of the Echo of Moscow radio station, Aleksey Venediktov, and the Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation, Aleskey Volin, was dynamic and fruitful. The meeting showed the interest of future journalists and SUSU students of other humanitarian specializations in such topics as connection between mass media and digitalisation, media literacy, native advertisement, and writing qualitative material.

Azaliya Sharafutdinova, photo by: Oleg Igoshin
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