|Analytical journalism in Russia: a view from the inside
|From the Editor: “Independent analytical journalism is the missing link in the democratic process” is the title of one of the discussion platforms submitted to the Russian Forum, held in Nizhny Novgorod from October 23 to October 25. Preparing for this discussion was a good reason for us once again to approach the long-standing problem: the problem of the formation of the intellectual-political landscape of modern Russia. Analytical journalism is one of the environments that make up this landscape. And, perhaps, one of the criteria for the integrity of the ideological and political field is the ability of “analysts” to see its place in it. Boris Mezhuyev (deputy editor-in-chief of Cosmopolis magazine), Vitaly Tretyakov (chief editor of Energy Policy magazine), Andrei Kobyakov (deputy editor-in-chief of Russian Entrepreneur magazine), Maxim Shevchenko (chief editor of Smysl magazine ), Alexander Khramchikhin (Head of Analytical Department of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis).|
Analytical journalism as a genre. What are the typological features? Is it advisable to make it in a separate category along with informational journalism, journalism, expertise? ..
Boris Mezhiev: A typological feature of analytical journalism, as the name implies, is the ability to analytically, i.e. Reflexively approach the stated material, not only communicate the facts, but also analyze them. Unfortunately, this concept does not contain anything else. It seems to me that the question of the genre, which I would venture to call “intellectual journalism,” and which, as far as I know, is completely unrepresented in the domestic media, is more interesting. This is journalism, describing and analyzing the life of ideas in modern society, or, using other terms, the functioning of intelligent networks. This kind of specific analytical product is almost completely absent in our country, which is explained by the influence of narrow-economic analytics in combination with sociology operating with quantitative data. This leads to the fact that the wide reader is better oriented in the economic than in the ideological life of society.
Vitaly Tretyakov: Analytical journalism is all that is not information about events in the country, and that contains a pronounced forecast in some problematic spectrum.
Andrei Kobyakov: Analytical journalism is a completely independent field. She, of course, on the verge of journalism. But nevertheless it is a separate genre. Serious journalism should ideally be analytical.
Maxim Shevchenko: Analytical journalism is the highest style of journalism. Her criteria are universal all over the world. First, it is the quality of the journalist’s intellect, the ability to relate what is happening with the existing problem space, with history. Secondly, the possession of speech. Difficult thoughts should be expressed simply. The journalist does not write for experts. The size of his audience is not limited, and ideally anyone who can read should understand what the journalist wanted to say. Thirdly, the personal courage of a journalist is important, he should not be afraid to go against the authorities, he should not call black white. He can't lie. When a journalist is lying, this is no longer journalism, but political technology, which I think is anti-journalism. Fourthly, the most important thing is the availability of space within which a journalist would have free access to information. I am impressed with how Western colleagues work. For any problem, they constitute a complete space of opinions. After this expert survey, an analytical journalist is able to write on any topic.
Analytical journalism as a format. What type of publication is most appropriate for the label of “analytical journalism”? Does the system of "division of labor" along the line develop in Russia - "informational diaries - analytical weeklies - intellectual monthly"?
Boris Mezhiev: The division of labor, of course, does not add up. Analytical weeklies are in the best position, among which “Expert” stands out, having actually turned out to be the leader of “analytical journalism”, in my opinion, largely due to stubborn unwillingness to be popularized. With monthly just a disaster. The previous wave, connected with literary heritage, Slavic studies, etc., has already clearly disappeared, and the second breath has not come to the monthly. Therefore, there is a complete lack of new ideas or finance that can support new ideas.
Alexander Khramchikhin: “Intellectual monthly” (or even “quarterly”) are more expert-academic than analytical, moreover, almost all of them stew in their own juice, having practically no influence on the external audience, especially on power.
Andrei Kobyakov. I would call the Russian entrepreneur an intellectual monthly, but lately he has been going away from. Not enough money, the magazine turns out to be semi-marginal, not in terms of quality, of course.
Another interesting, but semi-marginal magazine is Economic Strategies. Attempts to develop this infrastructure do not stop, so I believe that the process is underway. But much will depend on the dynamics of the social environment. If from populism we come to an intelligible political landscape, then there will be publications that will support this or that ideological line. Many have a desire to see such a press.
Vitaly Tretyakov: Analytical journalism may be partly present even in the tabloids. But the main place of her stay is still a high-quality publication, no matter on the Internet or on paper. Editions with a lower rhythm, naturally, contain more analytics. Daily television news releases may also contain elements of analytics, although to a lesser extent than weekly information and analytical programs, which are designed to analyze events a priori, and not just retell them.
Analytical journalism as a political factor. What is the place of public "analytics" in the decision-making system in modern Russia - compared with the period of the 90s? and experiences of the "Western democracies"? In the system of democratic debate?
Alexander Khramchikhin: The very title of the discussion put forward on the Russian Forum: “Independent analytical journalism is a lost link in the democratic process,” bears in itself a certain deceit. Unfortunately, there is no democratic process in Russia today, so it’s pointless to talk about its “links”.
Analytical journalism has naturally disappeared along with the democratic process. It is easy for me to judge this, since one of the functions of my department is to monitor the domestic political press. The archive, maintained since the founding of IPVA (February 1996), has a folder dedicated to analytical materials. In the 90s, it was replenished very quickly, now it is practically not replenished at all. I want to emphasize that by analytic materials I do not mean custom-made or propaganda materials disguised as analytics, and even more so “rumors about gossip” that are currently replacing the analytics (such as: will the “family” or vice versa).
An additional confirmation of the elimination of analytical journalism is the growing desire of the owners of daily and weekly publications to maximize their depoliticization even in a purely informational way, not to mention the nature of the analytics. Explaining this setting by the depoliticization of society, we obviously confuse cause and effect. Agitprop in his Putin variant is actively working on the stupor of the population, which is expressed not least by the word "depoliticization". The population is depoliticized by force and purpose. In addition, the political process in the form that it took in the past 3 years, nothing but disgust, a normal person can not cause. Accordingly, there is no request for analytics from the public. The government, whose sole purpose today is self-preservation, is not interested in any kind of analytics, especially public one, in principle.
Andrei Kobyakov: If we talk about the influence of analytical media on power, then to a greater extent it concerns television. The programs form a problem field and this already affects the powers that be (they say that “However,” even Leontyev is watching by the president). But I would like more ...
Boris Mezhiev: In my opinion, in Russia, the public "analyst" is still continuing to perform a largely manipulative function. Deliberately complicated language of popular economic analysts of the 1990s with a demonstrative disregard for the general reader (although it is demanded by him) was intended to show that ordinary people with their everyday ideas and everyday interests would not go into the secret of secret modern society. Since the late 1990s, with the expansion of the information space thanks to the Internet, the situation began to change for the better - several analytical projects have emerged on the network, among which I will point out the one in which I personally participated - the State and Anthropotok. Although the style of the 1990s still makes itself felt, especially during all sorts of public campaigns.
Vitaly Tretyakov: Analytical journalism is by definition about politics. Although today there is no direct, direct influence similar to that of Kiselev Itogi. Itogi was the height of television analytical journalism and, with its individual plots, exerted some influence on politics. Now there are no such programs. Not to mention the print editions.
Analytical journalism as a professional field. What are the criteria for professionalism and by whom are they controlled? Who are today's leaders of the "industry"?
Boris Mezhiev: Criteria of professionalism - reflexivity (ability not dogmatically, but judiciously to assert one’s position); trust and respect for the reader (and not trampling him down because he does not understand the "laws of the financial market"); competence, of course; and external, at least impartiality. The leaders are “Politiya” (ROCR), all analytical products of the European University (G.Golosov, V.Gelman, etc.), the political department of “Expert”, the information site of political commentaries “Politkom.ru”.
Maxim Shevchenko: In Russia, with analytical journalism, the situation is difficult. There are analytical journalists, but I think ten fingers will suffice to list them. First of all I will name Vitaly Tretyakov; There are excellent journalists in the Kommersant publishing house (I won’t call them all). With great joy, I took the change of leadership in Izvestia. Raf is a true professional, and I am sure that Izvestia will change dramatically for the better. A number of new names appeared, for example, the Russian Courier. This is very good - intellectual competition is very important in analytical journalism. Ultimately, it allows us to hope that the PR tools will not be enough for everyone, and journalists will simply have to write what they think.
Andrei Kobyakov: It is hardly possible to control the criteria of professionalism, because they are quite obvious. You can love or dislike someone, but professionalism will always be visible. An example of an analytical journalist is Alexei Pushkov: a bright, responsible attitude to his own word. Maxim Sokolov has long been working in this genre, Mikhail Leontyev, who, however, is more opportunistic, Tatyana Gurova from Expert. There have been attempts by companies to reach the level of a certain analytical standard. Nezavisimaya Gazeta has long been in this capacity. Tretyakov himself has always supported this status of publication. "Expert" passed its peak in 1997-1998. Many earlier good publications began to be "vaporized" ... There was an attempt by Leibman to make a "Conservative". Extremely unsuccessful experience - scored the first, completely unsuccessful team, then the second - also unsuccessful. Where are these people now? Now a lot of interesting things appear on the Internet. In short, everything is very dynamic.
Analytical journalism as a market. Who is the consumer of the product and who is the customer? How is "independent analytical journalism" possible from an economic point of view?
Andrei Kobyakov: Analytical journalism from an economic point of view is a question of management. A bright personality should have the talent to sell. The problem of self-sufficiency - is solved, profitability - I do not know. The advertiser limits our freedom. For analytical journalism, this is doubly true. The Economist magazine is the perfect balance for me - here a large circulation is combined with serious expert opinions. This is an international level.
Maxim Shevchenko. The political demand for analytical journalism in Russia is very narrow. Compared to the Western world, where people are socially active, Russia is a rarefied space. I think at the moment readers of the political press in Russia are about 10-15 thousand. In addition, journalism has discredited itself. Journalists are constantly involved in political technologies.
Boris MezhievA: The consumer of the product is an educated reader, a business elite, and a political elite. The customer is usually business structures, not political structures in the first place, which may explain the one-sidedly economized orientation of analytical journalism and its relative indifference to the intellectual sphere.
By the way, reviews of ideological orientations in Russian society that occasionally appear (such as the one that was presented in the well-known note of the FEP about the “strategic alliance”) suffer from complete non-analyticity. The positions presented in the analysis are often simply fantastic, while the really existing points of view have a very rational justification, sometimes perfectly developed. Our intellectuals, as a rule, simply ignore the arguments of their opponents - first of all, this refers to the rare attempts of liberals to present a set of ideas from their opponents. Then it turns out that Dugin is an enemy of Europe (as follows from a recent article by Dmitry Oreshkin), the dislike of Russian patriots for immigrants from the South is a consequence of the remnants of totalitarianism (although such a dislike is characteristic of Western democracies), etc. enthusiasm for the conspiracy type of thinking - it seems to everyone that publicly spoken words have absolutely no meaning. They hide secret plans and secret designs. As one distinguished journalist said, political science is the science of who pays the money. Of course, taking into account only one - the material - factor and analytical journalism is concentrated around a single question: who paid for this or that publication. The fact that the life of ideas has some autonomy from the material factor is not taken into account, therefore significant segments of society’s life simply elude observers.
Analytical journalism as a medium. What intellectual communities and "intellectual corporations" can be distinguished among the Russian analytical journalism? What are their stylistic features and ideological-political?
Boris Mezhiev: There are several intellectual corporations, of which only one has "occupied" the sphere of analytical journalism, still dictating fashion in it. This is a group of right-wing liberals who have recently crystallized around the so-called. Serafimov club, the site Globalrus.ru, the newspaper "Izvestia" and similar publications on the focus. Journalists working in the same genre in other publications, for example, Yulia Latynina in Novaya Gazeta, are essentially people from the same school. Shake their leadership has not been able to anyone. They formed the canons of the genre - economic centrism, deliberately complicated language, complete indifference to the ideological side of social processes. Popular publications have lost either because of the desire for simplicity at the expense of depth, or because of excessive and inappropriate ideology. The laws of the genre were able to painlessly be overcome only by Expert, who raised the bar primarily thanks to the talent of Alexander Privalov and the excellent department of international politics. “Expert” managed to get out of the rigid framework of economic determinism of the 1990s and speak seriously, for example, about alternative ideological and political currents in the world, about various forks and paradoxes of global politics. And he, of course, set a new level of consideration and discussion of world and domestic policy issues, more adequate for the current turbulent decade.
Andrei Kobyakov: There is Seraphimosvsky club. There were attempts to create a club of economic journalists, but very soon they all turned into a Parschema. As for ideological ideas, they all often undergo changes - Maksim Sokolov began as a liberal radical, now he is, at best, a liberal-statesman. It seems that a certain consolidation of thinking people is happening, reasonable and moderate - the same as on the political background.