The Old and the New Journalism in Russia

The Old and the New Journalism in Russia
Two generations of the journalists ? Soviet and the post-Soviet ? make journalism in contemporary Russia. The difference is in how the young generation quite critically estimates the Soviet experience and thinks that until the crucial reforms of liberalisation journalism was a completely different profession. The basic distinction between the old and the new journalism, according to young generation lies in the approach toward information, particularly what information goes to society and how ? understood as the quality of informing society. In the statement by the former editor-in-chief of the elite magazine Itogy of the company ?Media most?, Sergei Parkhomenko: ? the journalism, in my view, till 1990 worked without sources. The primary source was the author?s brains. On rare occasions there was a certain simulation of the source somehow: ?a reader?s letter?, tass or something like that. But the primary content of the text it was the author?s thoughts. Till the end of 1990 in the domestic journalism there was not a problem of speed? There were not perceptions of the type ?I am first, you are second?? In the absence of a competition and the perception about that what information proceeds from source, a certain race had abstract, absolutely unclear for a reader and consumer of this information character. I consider that till that moment while categories of source and tempo became dominant in the journalism this profession did not exist
The emerging new journalism to which Parkhomenko refers is characterised by a completely different approach toward information, to its source, to the speed of its acquisition, preciseness of its transmission, strictness of division between information and comment (as represented by Nezavisimaya gazeta). He distinguishes the journalists of two generations as representatives of two different professions: the people working with information (the post-Soviet practitioners) and the people working with themselves (the Soviet practitioners) (ibid. 388). The western scholars noticed a decade ago that "discussing the status of professions in the ussr is difficult because the use of the term ?profession? is itself not wholly defensible" (Jones 1992, 86). Moreover they cast doubt on the existence of professions in the Soviet Union because those were shaped by the state and were under its complete control. The coming into being of professions as Jones notes ?will take a considerable amount of time and we should not expect the full flowering of professions in the former ussr in just five or six years" (ibid., 85). "With so many journalistic jobs in jeopardy because of financial uncertainty there has been little consideration of these issues; with so many old journalists discredited and so many new, untrained reporters flooding into the profession, the defining characteristics of the journalist are in flux" (Johnson 1992, 221). Nevertheless the last changes give hope for the western scholars to think that "journalism is one of the few occupations that have moved toward professionalization since the reforms started", although there is significant apprehension "that it is unclear in Russia and other East European countries what professionalism will mean and what the role of the journalist will be" (Wu, Weaver, Johnson 1996, 535). However today, after the decade of the reforms, it seems that exactly the political and financial instability of the 1990s has provoked and sharpened the discussion on the professional issues both in the practitioners? and scholars? circles. The ongoing debates may only seek and form their own formula of professionalism, which cannot be Soviet, but most likely will not become purely western either. In contrast to their western colleagues the Russian scholars discuss journalism practice as existing profession (Avraamov 1999, Dzyaloshinsky 1996, Korkonosenko 1994, Svitich 2000, Vinogradova 2000). Taken as the starting-point of the discussion the term ?profession? we bring only main approaches to it in the theoretical discourse as far as the term itself remains inexhaustible recourse for scholars? debates. In the study on Russian journalists we pay more attention to the discussion on the concept of professionalism. However the aim of this paper to describe the professional practice of contemporary journalists and their perceptions of what they consider the most important in the job and how they accomplish their job. In other words, we shall identify the basic goals of the journalists and according to them define the professional roles. Definitions of profession The difference in the meanings of the term profession forces us to represent it in corresponding discourses: the western, the Soviet and post-Soviet ones. Although the western discourse itself embraces very different meanings of this term bringing those cultural and historical settings of the professions in that they were interpreted, in our case we shall use the notion the western discourse in a general sense, not distinguishing the European and the American context. However some scholars because of these differences come to the conclusion that "the terms ?profession? and ?professionalization? are virtual nonconcepts, since there is a little consensus about their meaning" (Forsythe & Danisiewicz 1985, 59). In the western discourse As general dimensions composing the ideal type of profession Larson points out: The cognitive dimension is centered on the body of knowledge and techniques which the professionals apply in their work, and on the training necessary to master such knowledge and skills; the normative dimension covers the service orientation of professionals, and their distinctive ethics, which justify the privilege of self-regulation granted them by society; the evaluative dimension implicitly compares professions to other occupations, underscoring the professions? singular characteristics of autonomy and prestige. The distinctiveness of the professions appears to be founded on the combination of these general dimensions. These uncommon occupations tend to become ?real? communities, whose members share a relatively permanent affiliation, an identity, personal commitment, specific interests, and general loyalties (Larson 1977, x). The ideal-typical or institutional approach regards professions as categories, which emerged from the division of labour in industrial societies in the result of developing the market. The process of professionalisation of occupations is presented as one of general dimensions of ?modernisation? ? the advance of science and cognitive rationality and the progressive differentiation and rationalisation of the division of labour (Parsons 1954, Goode 1960, Polanyi 1957). Nordenstreng notes two main strands of thought or approaches in sociological discussion on profession: ?Functionalist? and ?neo-Weberian? promoted two opposite views on professionalism. Positive view taken by the functionalistic approach suggests that ?professions brought much-needed social cohesion and new morality into process of modernization, with scientific specialization (Carr-Saunders and Wilson, 1993) and social service" (Marshall, 1939). Critical view taken by neo-Weberian approach perceives "professions as bastions of narrow and elitist interests" which "serve in modern society as repressive mechanisms undermining democracy and turning active citizens into passive consumers" (Nordenstreng 1998, 125-126). The scholar argues that evolution of journalism as profession ?provided a textbook example of a functional approach? although ?reflections around media professions over the past two decades include more and more critical voices? and this one can indeed speak of a democratic shift". ?When a media-centred paradigm is replaced by a citizen-centred paradigm, one is also moving away from a functional approach to a critical (neo-Weberian) approach. ? More fundamentally, however, it was a paradigm shift away from an approach which understands media and journalists as the owners of communication rights and freedoms toward a paradigm whereby it is the citizens and their civil society that should be seen as the ultimate owners of freedom of information (Nordenstreng ibid., 126-127). The debates on terms profession, professionalism, professional and the attempts to categorize journalism as a profession see also in: Alleyne 1997, Beam 1990; Becker 1987; Cohen 1997; Corner 1995, Dressel 1960, Greenwood: 1957 in Salven and Garrison 1991; Goodwin & Smith 1995; Lambeth 1992, Lieberman 1956; Luostarinen 1990, Skolkay 1998; Splichal and Sparks 1994; Vollmer and Mills, in Becker et al 1987; Weaver & Wilhoit 1991. In the Soviet discourse In the Soviet Encyclopaedia the notion of profession runs "from Latin professio, profiteor; a kind of labour activity demanding definite preparation and being usually a source of livelihood" (Soviet Encyclopaedia, 1983, 1070). The Academic Dictionary of Russian Language defines profession as "a kind of labour activity, occupations demanding definite preparation and being usually a source of livelihood" (Dictionary of Russian Language 1987, 540). There is practically no distinction between these definitions of the term ?profession?, which evince the same main characteristics of its content: some kind of labour activity, which provides livelihood. To clarify exactly what kind of labour activity is identified as profession we should turn to the terms professional, professionalization. Professional is "he/she who turned some occupation, activity into his/her profession, a good specialist ? hunter-professional, director-professional" (Dictionary of Russian Language ibid.). Professional "1. Concerning profession: experienced jurist thoroughly knowing laws and all kinds of professional subtleties. 2. Being professional: professional revolutionary, professional wrestlers, professional nurse" (ibid.) Professionalization is "mastering by profession, specialising in somewhat area. Transition into the rank of professionals. Younger writer" (ibid.). In the framework of the western sociological theory of professionalism such a sense of the terms of profession, professional, professionalization is defined as "a trivial sense ? referring to the division of labour in society and to the degree of socialization of different kinds of activity". It "is used to describe someone who earns a living from a particular occupation as opposed to the amateur who pursues it for other motives" (Splichal, Sparks 1994, 34-35). That is, we can say that the Soviet discourse employs the term profession and its derivatives mostly in the trivial sense. However in the Soviet time the terms profession and professional were used also in other narrower senses: technical mastery implying routine skills and standards of professionalism legitimated by the employers and colleagues, for example Hippocratic oath of the Soviet physicians. It seems more fruitful to identify as a phenomenon the ?Soviet professions? and to study them as the product of the Soviet system. And to put the question how they developed in the conditions of the modernization of no liberal society according to the state plan and the process of levelling of class structure. In this context there was a single occupation, which held the highest status in the social stratification and occupations and met all requirements for a true profession in the western theory. In particular it had power, prestige, autonomy, self-control and self-regulation, body of knowledge and techniques, service orientation, ethics, membership. This occupation was party practice. We can regard it as meta-profession of the Soviet system with all remaining occupations as its derivatives or sub-professions (Soviet professions). This consideration finds confirmation in numerous examples from Soviet reality when the party staff workers performed as meta-professionals, specifically their competence was acknowledged as the most appropriate to be appointed and to command in any field: economy, industry, culture, education, journalism and so on. However the party management often remained within its bounds not interfering with the production process itself. The practitioners of the sub-professions perceived the party patronage as natural because it performed as the state paternalism. They had no conception of any detachment of their occupation from the ?native? party state, practically everyone was an adherent of the socialistic views and strove to make his/her own contribution to the welfare of the country. Toward 1985 the majority of the population of the country believed in the advantages of the planned economy, public property as means of production, believed in the cultural, moral superiority of the Soviet Unionover the West. Deeply believed, deeply patriotically and quite sincerely supported the foreign policy of the Soviet government. Even Afghanistan (Shlapentok 2000, 120). In the post-Soviet discourse In the last decade the domestic approach toward the notion profession changed a little. A Russian sociological encyclopaedia provides it as: 1. The kind of labour activity, occupations determined by production-technological division of labour and its functional content. 2. A big group of peoples uniting in common kind of occupations, labour activity. In the society there is hierarchy of professions depending on the degree of complication and responsibility of implementing work and reflected in the public awareness of the kind of prestige of professions" (Osipov 1998, 425). The sociological dictionary gives the definition of profession as ?institutionalized and existing in the framework of needs of society and its economy the kind of labour activity" (Kravchenko 1999, 220). Both sources emphasise the interconnection and interaction of the professional structure (population of professions and their interconnection) with social structure. The first one notices ?The borders of profession, number and kinds of entering specialities are inconstant and lively" (Osipov 1998, 425). That is, we note that a decade later the usage of the term profession remains in the Soviet tradition and formerly brings mainly the trivial sense not containing any special demands on the profession and its practitioners. Therefore the Russian scholars are right regarding journalism as one of the existing professions, although by the western criteria one should speak about different kinds of activity in contemporary Russia including journalism as occupation or as we propose as about inherited Soviet professions. But let?s turn to the working practice of the journalists to examine the expert?s claim about another profession of journalism in Russia. Method The research is being done as a case study on the basis of extensive interviews with the journalists. The choice in favour of qualitative methods of research, in particular case study was made for certain reasons. One of them is a pure economic consideration: a lack of financing in the Department at the university for long term expensive projects and at the same time the presence of other compensating opportunities to support research work. This study used such opportunities in that number for the working trips to Russia. The choice itself of a separate community as a study object presupposes making the research as case study. Taking one case we have an opportunity "to scrutinise thoroughly the ?case? in the unity of its interconnections and dynamics of the development, to study group norms and values, structure of roles or the system of powerful relations"(Semenova 1998, 398). We do not seek to compare this case with others, we strive only to investigate the case in all its diversity and discrepancy to capture the features of developing the journalism in the reform period. To the interviews with the journalists we added the interviews done with journalism experts and also the experts? inquiry to gain depth in scrutinising the topic. Investigation of the object in the period of drastic social changes prompts us to turn toward qualitative research because it strives not at statistical measuring of some stable phenomenon or clear concept, but employs an open view to regarding any emerging formations and deviations, strives to understand them and to explain, ultimately to make discovery of new things. Making a case study we do not strive to extrapolate the results over the whole journalists? population in Russia. Nevertheless we assert that the choice of the optimal case and optimal sampling gives us the right to speak of optimal coverage as a typical case in the population of all other cases, and therefore to consider the results of the case study not as unique characteristics of the given case, but as common trends inherent in other cases. St. Petersburg as a case is seen as an optimal option on a Russian scale owing to its ambivalent polar-symbiotic status of ?the second capital of Russia? inserted into the peripheral frame. Sampling of the news journalists also achieves optimal coverage by including different representatives of the journalist population on gender, generation, education and representing different types of media. Sampling of the media done on the advice of St. Petersburg experts was pursued to obtain various types of editorial organizations: the most influential traditional and new media established in the post-Soviet time, profit-making and non-profit-making media, state and private media. In this way eight basic media representing different news journalism in the city were selected: the state television service ?Peterburg- 5th Channel?, state radio ?Peterburg?, a private radio station ?Baltika?, three dailies: ?Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti?, ?Smena?, ?Vechernij Peterburg?; the St. Petersburg edition of Moscow?s leading daily newspaper ?Komsomolskaya Pravda?, and the most popular city weekly ?Peterburg-Express?. The interviews were conducted in one month (October 10 ? November 10 1999) and included 72 questions: background ? 22 questions, job ? 35 questions, profession -15 questions (Appendix 1). Accordingly the study is based on three levels to describe the basic socio-economic characteristics of the journalists and prompt the question who is journalist, to examine their current practice and to prompt the question how they work, to represent the journalists? system of professional norms and values and prompt the question why they work by such a way. Selecting the respondents was done with the free agreement of the journalists but with the intention of involving different representatives of the workforce. Altogether 30 respondents were chosen, among whom 15 males and 15 females; the age ranging from 20 to 60; time of entering the profession from 1963 to 1996 (Appendix 2). Findings The analysis the interviews done on the journalists? perceptions on concept professionalism revealed polar views of the practitioners on journalism and the same time exposed all them as bearers of employees? consciousness. The examination of the journalists? perceptions on their main goals in job appeared variety of the professional goals and one way for their achievement. Types of professionals The paper represented at VI iccees Congress in 2000 in Tampere (Juskevits 2000) has suggested five types professionals perceived by the contemporary journalists. The analysis was done on the questions in Appendix 1: who is professional in journalism (3.2.1) and self-appraisal to own professionalism (3.2.2). The table below shows the types of perceived professionals and their characteristics provided by the respondents (in the table: S-Soviet practitioner, P- post-Soviet practitioner). Table 1: Types of professionals types characteristics respondents IDEALIndependent, honest, sociable journalist, who has own position and style, who is able to pass through any door and to make everything, who is afraid of nobody and writes well 3: 1S, 2P 1 male, 2 females 2 press, 1 Radio pure practitioner He is literate in Russian language, possesses by genre and technique, competence (education and knowledge of topic), interest in the matter, he has an analytical approach and writes informative text with various opinions, does the job fast, timely, is devoted to profession 11: 5S, 6P 6 males, 5 females 7 press, 4 Radio, TV moral PRACTITIONERAltruist, honest, sincere, communicative, resourceful, who has intuition, passionate perception, fervour for life, own position, not is a retrograde 9: 5S, 4P 5 males, 4 females 5 press, 4 Radio, TV born PRACTITIONERHe has talent, inborn professional characteristics: nice voice, ability to persuade and to be liked by audience, education. 3: 1S, 2P 2 males, 1 female 2 press, 1 Radio anti ? hero Very talented, dishonorable person lies and makes up facts to form public opinion, esteems money more than own convictions 4: 2S, 2P 1 male, 3 females 2 press, 2 TV The conclusion made in the paper was that the journalists do not share one approach to the profession. Their perceptions vary from ideal as a symbol of perfection to anti-hero, a new influential type in the post-Soviet media (S. Dorenko, E. Kiselev, A.Nevzorov). Between these extremes the journalists found themselves as practitioners of three kinds: pure practitioners, moral practitioners, and born practitioners. Nor do all the types of professionals identified possess such essentials, which establish normative and evaluative dimensions of profession, in particular, distinctive ethics, self-regulation, autonomy, prestige. The results suggest that contemporary Russian journalists perceive the professional in journalism as a hired worker not revealing his/her own claims on professional decisions. For them it is enough to have education and media experience and to satisfy the demands of their employers on the labour market. Such a narrow understanding of professionalism leads to natural implementation of any order and therefore polar journalist practices neighbour currently. For Russian journalists professionalism is determined by non-universal principles of rigid standard, but by local context where they practice journalism. Types of roles This article continues to examine the journalists? perceptions, in particular it investigates the journalists? goals in job and makes the attempt to define the journalistic roles. The analysis was done on the questions 2.2.1 and 2.2.4 in Appendix 1. Goals. The open question ?what task do you consider the most important in your job? provided four types of answers and accordingly four types of journalists. Every third considers the most important matter to bring information to a reader. Practically all of these are post-Soviet practitioners, mainly from the electronic media, both males and females who value highest of all information and its fast transmission. A typical answer of this category: To bring trustworthy information to the wide circle of the readers (R.17). Another third emphasises as the most important to prepare interesting material for a reader. This means both analytical writing for the intellectuals, combining information with comment, and popular texts for mass audience, where the basic task is to attract a reader. Among these journalists are the representatives both old and new generation, males and females, almost all from the print media. The main thing is to make interesting reading for a reader ? such delicacy that he/she will swallow it (R.7) The aim is to make interesting material. For me it is literate reporting, saturated information, energy, not only information, but also comment. I am an admirer of ?Kommersant?. In the material I like news, reporting of information, brief comment. It is saturated material including everything and the journalist?s opinion and sufficient quality of information. I myself try to produce such material (R.12). Another group of journalists considers the most important to serve a reader with useful material. It means to educate, to cultivate, to address concrete problems, to fight against unfairness. Almost all of these are Soviet practitioners, females working in the traditional media established already in the Soviet era. In order for a reader to have use of the material. In order that a reader is brought up after the reading. The role of a newspaper is not that of an organiser and a propagandist, but educational. I do not appeal against negative information in the newspaper. If in Chechnya the slaughter is going on, let it be said. Simply I seem that a man becomes kinder, better and more empathetic not because that he/she reads about endless murders, but when he/she reads something kind, good and even if this problem is serious, it can be represented differently. We are evil media, like any newspaper, we like sensations, roast facts. But we do not like to write essays {ocherks}, to reflect upon a man. For the last five years the essays have disappeared. I do not know, if this is needed now or not. On the one hand it was professional journalism, the journalists were able to do it, they attempted to think themselves, they knew the hero of their publication. The material was rather deep than question- answer. You look, open a newspaper ? all-round interviews (R.16). Some journalists consider that the most important are their own interests: to earn money, to be first among colleagues, to make material interesting for him/herself. Practically all of them are males. It is important for me to get money. If I am paid, it means I am a good journalist. When I come to the cash-desk and see ? oh! What a lot of money I got, it means I am rated. Now for me it is exclusively money. If I inherited, I would spit upon this matter and quietly go away to the theatre and there I would work free of charge. I need money, such an age. I need to create a family (R.19). Some journalists have several equivalent goals: The main one is to help people or to entertain them (R.15). Summarising we can say that the journalists pursue different goals in the job according to which we identify the journalist roles perceived by them. Disseminator, who strives to get information to the audience, storyteller, who strives to entertain the audience, missionary, who strives to help people, and free artist worried by mainly personal interests. The first three groups perform in almost in equal proportion whereas the last one is in the minority. Three basic variables: gender, generation and type of media influence on the journalistic choice of perceived roles. As the analysis showed, informing is the basic goal for the post-Soviet practitioners from the electronic media. The goal of entertaining directs the job mainly of the press journalists. The job as mission to change a man and the environmental world is perceived by the Soviet practitioners? females from the traditional media. The goal of personal profit is inherent mainly in the males. The next step we undertake is to investigate the nature of journalistic activity. For this we shall learn what attitudes the journalists employ to achieve their goals. Are they involved or neutral when making material? And what determines the journalist?s decision? Attitudes. The journalists were given a dichotomous question ?what you prefer, to be neutral or involved, when make material?? They offered three preferences: to be involved (half), to be involved or neutral depending on different reasons (one third), to be neutral (the rest). These preferences we identified as the journalists? attitudes to making the product. The analysis revealed the following. Every second, mainly from the print media, declared his/her involvement when making material, among them both the Soviet and post-Soviet practitioners, males and females. The journalists justify involvement by their striving to influence the audience, to observe sources? or clientele?s interest, the interests of the audience as well as the necessity to obey to the editorial line. I failed to be in a neutral position as far as I myself choose about what to write and I want to write in this way in order for people to understand what I want to report. Of course, it is involving. I attempt to affect not only mind, but emotions, somehow to decorate, because through the emotions it comes better (R.23). Naturally, my position appears. But I try to be at some distance. I have to take into account the editorial politics, the interests of the person who gives this material and radio listeners? interests ? 3 sides (R.5). Thus, we note that the involving attitude provides the journalists with the immediate opportunity to influence the audience and to form definite views on the journalists? discretion. At the same time involving is only partly the journalist?s autonomous decision, more often it serves as a product of the negotiating the journalist has done with the editorial chiefs and important clients. As regards the Soviet practitioners involvement is a part of their professional ideology since the Soviet school of journalism demanded the direct intervention of the journalist in current processes. The new time provides everybody with a favourable chance to implement not only political or commercial order but and to make their own business. Such ?journalistic service? inevitably leads to forming crony journalism as a usual practice, typical of the omnipresent informal networks in Russia. Therefore we have grounds to regard the involving attitude as the journalist?s fulcrum emerging in the Soviet tradition and reinforced by the present conjuncture. One third of the journalists prefers combining involvement and neutrality: sometimes involving, sometimes neutral. It depends on the journalist?s decision on selecting of fact, topic, strategy of writing, the journalist?s interest in the topic and relation to the genre, the status in the editorial office. When I am information editor, unconditionally it is a neutral position, when I am a journalist, so it is my author?s position (R.24). If some conflict, so it is neutral position, because it needs to show two sides and in this way in order that the viewers would draw their own conclusions. But if the material is an essay, then here my interestedness is in the concrete personal fate (R.30). The journalists are neutral toward the topic not interesting for them or custom-made materials because those are been written not on their initiative. They are advised to resort to neutrality in those cases when they lack professional experience and competence. I try to be neutral, but sometimes a fact is crying out and the evidence is against somebody, so then I write how I feel and know it. Although many older journalists say that you, young journalists cannot know everything and must follow objectivity (R.28). That is, we can note that the choice to be involved or preserve neutrality is accepted by the journalist on the basis of his/her empirical knowledge of the occupation, the individual morality with the account of the situational factors. For this group of journalists involvement and neutrality are not rigid categories submitted to professional standards, they serve rather as a matter of the journalist?s taste. Neutral is preferable only for some journalists, practically all of them from the print media. However the perception of neutrality has different senses among those who consider their attitude neutral. What are they? Some perceive neutrality as a protective trick to avoid possible accusations to the journalist?s address apropos the publication. In their media such a kind of the neutrality is established as the editorial politics and the journalists are recommended to remain outside of conflicts and interests. I try to keep a neutral position, if we are educated by such here, as the deputy editor says it always needs to be somehow aside in order not to be accused (R.14). Others perceive neutrality as a feeling of subjective world and creativity instead of a consciously controlled mind. More often it is neutral, but it does not mean that I preserve this. The process of writing is sufficiently fast, on the unconscious level. That is, I do not discuss with such: if I put this fact, how it influences the situation?s development, it will help that person or this person. Usually I do not discuss this. It is understood fast. If it is interesting I write fast. If I feel that it is harmful, I do not write this (R.15). Some journalists perceive neutrality as a self-censored state likewise beyond the mentioned policy of self-protection. Neutral although a journalist is a member of society. In the work one must try to rise above problems and situations. (Interviewer: Is it possible to speak about neutrality, when you select facts and put them together by definite way?) Here is a question about my self-censorship and editorial censorship? I already have learned editorial, how to present a material and what to pay attention to, and my self-censorship is on the instinctive level. It is difficult to formulate why I take this fact and reject two others (R.11). Summarising what the neutral attitude for the journalists is we have to distinguish several senses as well as several causes for its applicability. When neutrality performs as a defensible self-censored strategy against possible trouble for the media and the journalist, then we can presuppose that the journalist?s product will be sooner the output of the politics of compromise of the journalist toward current challenge and promote rather incomplete than complete informing for the audience. When neutrality performs as an unconscious feel for the creative process and the journalist is divorced from the reality and therefore neutral, we suspect that there will be rather subjective reporting produced by the journalist?s emotions and feelings and similar to the writer?s text. When neutrality is applied as a certain guarantee of lack of professional experience and competence, we again cannot expect completeness of the information provided by the journalist. In a case when neutrality is the indifference of the journalist to custom-made and routine materials, we predict that there can be mechanical conveying to the clientele or bureaucratic interests by the journalist who sooner realises a PR function than the journalist?s duty of objective reporting. The perception of neutrality as a quality having nothing in common with the journalistic job belongs to the young generation from the post-Soviet media, who hardly believe in the possibility of the journalist?s neutral attitude at all. I myself try not to comment, but of course, there is some colour, even selection of materials? it is already comment and anybody who is not lazy uses it. Here and in the west are the same things although outwardly it does not appear as such, but in reality there is some policy and it is always realised. If yesterday in England a scandal flared up in relation to number of victims in Kosovo, so reading American, English newspapers, watching TV you feel policy in the selection of materials, in the point of view towards the event (R.26). That is, we conclude that the journalists manage with sufficiently different perceptions of neutrality, which does not guarantee objective standard coverage of the event. And so we argue that there is no neutrality as a behavioural pattern and as a mental concept. After clarifying the journalistic goals and attitudes to the job we shall confront these variables: goals and attitudes for every practitioner, fortunately our sample consisting of thirty respondents allows us to examine every case. In such a way we can expose the character of the identified journalistic roles and the features of contemporary journalism. Roles. As the analysis showed, the journalists pursue the basic goals in the job to disseminate information, to tell a story, to improve a man and the environmental world, to satisfy their personal interests. In accordance with these goals we identified the journalistic roles of disseminator, storyteller, missionary, free artist. The next question is about the content of these roles: what disseminator, what storyteller, what missionary, what free artist make journalism? To get the answer we co-relate the goal of the journalist in the job with to his/her attitude to making the product. The results of the co-relation done over every case are presented in the table below. Table 2: Journalist roles Roles Goals Attitudes Respondents disseminator To bring information to a readerNeutral: 1 Involving: 3 Combining: 6 10: 3S, 7P 5 males, 5 females 2 TV, 5 Radio, 3 dailies storyteller To prepare the interesting material for a reader Neutral: 3 Involving: 4 Combining: 3 10: 4S, 6P 7 males, 3 females 1 Radio, 2 weekly, 7 dailies missionary To educate, to cultivate, to address problems, to fight against unfairnessNeutral: 2 Involving: 4 Combining: 3 9: 7S, 2P 1 males, 8 females 2 TV, 1 Radio, 6 dailies free artist To earn money, to be first among best ?pens?, to make work interesting for myself Involving: 4 4: 2S, 2P 3 males, 1female 2 Radio, 2 daily, weekly The main finding is that irrespective of the type of role perceived by the journalist, everybody is more or less partial ? not far from what is known as propagandist. All four types of journalists produce similar working practice. Involvement is a priority for the contemporary practitioners of any age, education, gender, from different types of the media. Russian journalists irrespective of the social background, type of media and diversity of perceived professional roles make one type of journalism, which is characterised by partiality. The analysis shows that practically all disseminators except one employ the attitudes of involving or combining in producing information. Involving performs for them as a lever of influence on the audience and as the ?safety belt? in the relationship with the authorities, a doubly profitable attitude for the journalists? own ambitions in exercising power in the society. Producing an analytical ?foot? for intellectuals and commercial shows for the masses, the storytellers employ all three attitudes to the job where ? involving and combining play a dominating role and quite relevant for the storyteller?s function. Neutrality as an unconscious feel of the subjective world of the journalist-entertainer only contributes to the creative process and writing bright text. So, we regard the storytellers sooner as writers of devotion than journalists of neutral reporting. The missionaries with a Marxist outlook to change a man and the environment employ all three positions with obvious lack of neutrality. Those in the minority, who indicated their neutral attitude, perceive it as an unconscious feeling or as a strategy of self-protection from possible troubles. That is, we can presuppose that there can be rather subjective writing and incomplete reporting. The free artists pursuing the satisfaction of personal interests revealed unanimously an involving attitude in the job that in turn prompts that such involving offers better opportunities for achieving the goals of earning, career and self-fulfillment. Conclusion The results of this study suggest that in Russia the way of informing society has changed only little. The journalists produce biased reporting intending to influence and form definite outlook of the media consumer. They justify their partisanship to the authorities and develop crony journalism, which hardly differs from Soviet in its core although it appears different in form, notably informational, entertaining and helpful. These various forms of journalism appeared large in the result of the shift of the journalists? perceptions of their basic functions in the job from the collective indoctrination of socialistic values toward individual professional choice of the new roles of disseminator, storyteller, missionary and free artist. The new roles perceived by the journalists can be seen as new ways of thinking of the contemporary practitioners formed under the influence of the major reforms of the last decade. The new palette of the roles testifies to transforming Russian journalism from the political monotony of the Soviet system toward the situational diversity of the post-Soviet reality. The new generation of journalists obviously prefers the roles of disseminator and storyteller, frankly ignoring the missionary role. So we can predict that missionaries are no longer popular in Russiaalthough they still compose a significant number among the working practitioners, mainly those who came to the field in Soviet times. The future of journalism is seen in the developing of these two basic tendencies: traditional journalism of information supported mainly by the broadcasting journalists and new journalism of commercial nature supported mainly by print journalists. However, the perceptions of the new roles by journalists did not influence the nature of the journalists? activity, which remains essentially the Soviet style with partisanship aligned to the powerful elite and manipulation of the audience. Neutrality remains ?the thing in itself?, alien phenomenon that also testifies to a great extent to the non-objectivity of contemporary journalism. Combining the old habits with the new ones Russian journalism unconditionally performs like new journalism and here I can agree with the expert?s claim quoted in the beginning of the paper. However I do not agree that it is another profession of journalism. In my view contemporary journalism performs as the ?Soviet profession? incorporated in the new power structures.

The Old and the New Journalism in Russia 8.4 of 10 on the basis of 1181 Review.