Freedom of Speech in the Regional Media Routine
Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Department of Political Science and Administration, General Director, Public Opinion Institute «Qualitas», Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Voronezh branch, Vorornezh, Russia. email@example.com
Graduate student, Department of Political Science and Administration, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Voronezh branch, Vorornezh, Russia. firstname.lastname@example.org
We can say that representatives of the media not only generate new ideas, but even construct a new worldview. They choose the direction for the general discussion, give certain meaning to events, set criteria for assessing them and conduct cultural wars. The importance of modern media cannot be overemphasized as the mass media can help to prevent not only a cultural war, but a real one as well. To investigate the situation with freedom of speech in Voronezh region from local media workers’ point of view, the Institute of Public Opinion «Qualitas» repeated research in 2015 that was previously conducted in 2004 and 1994 and interviewed Voronezh representatives of various media in different positions – from chief editors to rank–and–file journalists. The results of the research showed that there is no unambiguous assessment of the free speech – what is enough for one can be insufficient for another. Moreover, there is a request among the population for restriction of freedom of speech as it sometimes borders on permissiveness. Although the local government according to journalists remains a dominant source of freedom of speech infringement cases, a set of motives of different kinds finally form the agenda. Some journalists have never faced the situation when their material for some reason was refused to be published. «Self-censorship» is also very important during the process of preparing the material for the publication. The decision to publish material takes into account aggregate of various interests, where commercial interests and human weaknesses often play the main role.
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