“Innovative English language media in EU: role and functions”

Theme 1. World trends in media development

Trends in the development of the media are largely due to the peculiarities of the development of society. In the last decades of the twentieth century, the world entered the era of globalization, the processes of which formed the basis for new political, economic and cultural relations between countries and peoples.

The basis of integration processes is informational globalization - the formation and development of a single informational space under the influence of communication technologies. As a result, it becomes possible to instantly deliver information to a large part of the audience, regardless of the location. This is due to the improvement of the technical tools of disseminating information - with the development of first satellite television, and then the Internet and digital methods of information transfer.

The consequence of globalization is the further concentration and monopolization of the mass media. These phenomena are based on the desire to significantly improve the competitiveness of business.

Commercialization of the media is structural and content change in the media sphere, generated by the impact of market factors. This change is manifested in the media's orientation to commercial success.

The concept of a dual media market: the media produce their product in order to operate in two markets. The first market is the commodity market. The content acts as goods there. Content as a product is intended for an audience that is a consumer of the media. The second market is the market of services. Here we examine the relationship between media and advertising. Media "sell" to advertisers not the area in the newspaper or seconds on TV and radio programs, but access to the audience.

Now the main notions of the media are rating and market coverage. The task is to ensure a high rating, which is a guarantee of commercial success, stability of receipt of income from the publication of advertising and a measure of the cost of advertising services. This leads to the existence of secret censorship, which forces journalists to refuse to cover complex, "inconvenient" problems, for the reason that such publications and broadcasts are not capable of attracting a wide audience. The processes of tabloidization and infotainment of the media are developing.

Defining the concepts of "tabloidization" and "infotainment," researchers identify the following important indicators:

- the narrowing of the spectrum of the displayed reality, the transfer of the "agenda" formed by tabloids to quality publications;

- simplification of the text forms of submission of the material, strengthening of the illustrations;

- unceremonious overfamiliarity and provocation in addressing to the audience.

The modern media market is also characterized by the following phenomena, that have influenced the globalization of the media:

Digitalization – the transformation of all media into digital form.

Convergence – the distribution of the same content product through different channels by different tools.

Multimedia – the combination of various ways of reflecting information: graphics, text, audiovisual materials, animation, etc. An important component of a multimedia information product is interactivity, which is understood as the process of involving in production of mass information products of those to whom these products are intended. Interactivity is co-creation. As a result, there is a phenomenon such as "civil" or "people's" journalism, that is, the activities of non-professional authors, carried out on the Internet.

The next trend is the combination of globalization with regional interest, that is, glocalization - adaptation of the global product to local markets to increase demand for it. Ways to localize a transboundary TV channel: 1) introduction of local advertising inserts; 2) translation of speech by means of duplication or titration; 3) partial or complete local programming.


Theme 2. Typology of the media

Typological characteristics of the media – their classification according to the generality of some features. The typological approach helps to study a complex media system, its transformation. Typology helps to understand the place of publications, radio and television channels in the media system, promotes their interaction, develops healthy competition, highlights the place of the media in the geographic, information, economic and social space. Typology determines the features of the editorial activity, relations with political structures, economic institutions, the audience.

Typology parameters:

1. According to the form of distribution (by the carrier), printed (newspapers, magazines, bulletins, etc.) and audiovisual media (radio, television) are differentiated. According to the way the electronic media is disseminated, it is possible to differentiate ether, cable, satellite and digital broadcasting.

2. The region of distribution is the territory on which this or that publication, or the signal of the broadcaster is distributed. These are transnational, national, regional, city and local media.

3. By the form of ownership criteria, private, state and public media may be differentiated.

4. Audience. We allocate: universal media (publications of general political themes, general profile) are designed for a wide audience. The socio-political, cultural and other diverse information presented in such publications is intended for anyone interested in current events.

Specialized media are designed for individual groups of consumers of the information product. These groups may differ in social and demographic characteristics (gender, age, education, income level), national and racial (Latin American, African American), personal interests (motorists), etc. Thematically specialized media are focused precisely on the segment of the audience that they serve.

The terms "mass" and "qualitative" are widely used by journalists in the scientific literature in regard to foreign media and are used to a greater extent to characterize printed materials. These types of press differ from each other in content, form of submission of materials. However, the defining feature in this case is the audience criterion.

The clearest division of periodicals into mass and qualitative has developed in Great Britain, therefore researchers of this question usually refer to the experience of this particular country, using the terminology developed here.

5.Time of release.

6. Periodicity is determined by the frequency of publication in a certain period of time.

7. Format. In broadcasting journalism, this word usually denotes an integral model of the program or channel (music, or informational-musical format). For printed products this is the standard size of the bands, for example, A2 (large format, characteristic for high-quality national press), A3 (half of a large newspaper page, this format usually comes out with mass newspapers), etc.

The era of globalization, high competition, the development of information technologies have led to changes in the typology of the media. For example, there is a unification of signs of high-quality and mass press, convergence of public television with commercial in terms of quality content of broadcasts.


Theme 3. Informational integration of European countries

The meaning of the European Union is the gradual elimination of borders between national states. An informational integration plays a key role in this process.

When preparing for a seminar, it is necessary to define the concept of a "unified information space" and its criteria, to identify the problems of the formation and development of a single information space based on the example of EU education. The first European institution was the European Broadcasting Union, created in 1950. Turning to this issue, it is necessary to identify the goals and tasks that stood at the basis of the EBU, and determine how they were transformed at present, what role the EBU plays in the European information space.

When considering the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and the Television without Borders Directive, it is necessary to define the main provisions of these documents, with particular attention to how the conditions for information integration are created, the creation of a single EU media space, the formation of European identity and at the same time, manifestation of  protectionism in relation to its own cultural heritage.

 In the early 1990s the main problems of the emerging European information space were identified. Those were the lack of adequate sources of information on EU activities and the lack of pan-European media. As a result, the pan-European TV channel Euronews appeared. Students ought to highlight the following aspects: the objectives of the channel, the principles of its work, the features of the format, financing, relationships with government structures. In general, the experience of the EU demonstrates how it is possible to preserve the uniqueness of the national information space of individual countries in the context of globalization.

Theme 4. Media policy

The interpretation of D. McQuail lies in the base of the notion media policy, he defined it as "the political, legislative, economic, and cultural framework in which media activities in society are regulated."

Media policy today is a complex set of measures, on the one hand, undertaken by the state to ensure the principles of freedom of speech, expression of opinion, protection of citizens' rights, and on the other - self-regulating nature, connected with the activities of the editors and journalists themselves in defining professional requirements in the form of professional standards, ethical codes and rules of conduct.

The state policy in the field of mass media is carried out in two directions: 1) creating conditions for broad public access to the media, ensuring media content pluralism; 2) creating conditions for competition in the market for as many media companies as possible, which should contribute to the emergence of more opinions and views on the market of ideas. To implement the media policy, the Council of Europe recommends Member States having such legislation that limits the concentration of the media, and also introduces any other additional legal mechanisms for the development of media pluralism. This can be a variety of rules: regulation of property issues, obtaining broadcast licenses, showing mandatory channels for broadcasting. The Council of Europe also recommends strengthening public broadcasting as a counterweight to the concentration of the private media sector.

Part of the state policy in European countries is the state support of the media (although Western countries have virtually no state and municipal media). The existence of state media support in the EU countries is connected with the principle that the mass information business is not just a business, but an activity that promotes information and cultural enrichment of the society. In one form or another, the media support system exists in most Western countries, although it may have different models.

The EU law considers state support as incompatible with the principles of freedom of competition, but there is an exception for the media. Such economic support is allowed by the EU Treaty in order to "develop culture and preserve cultural heritage".

Theme 5. Self-regulation of the media

The following questions are suggested for discussion:

1. Self-regulation and co-regulation.

2.Ofcom - as an example of the regulatory body of British television and radio broadcasting.

3. The activities of press councils in the EU countries.

4. The Ombudsman Institute.

In preparing for the lesson, it is necessary to identify the differences between such concepts as self-regulation and co-regulation, to determine the position of the European state bodies in relation to them. See typology of press councils, their composition, duties, peculiarities of functioning in different EU countries. Determine the tasks of the ombudsman and the principles of his work.

At the end of the lesson students identify the advantages and disadvantages of self-regulation in comparison with the regulatory activities of the state. Thus, one of the points of view states that self-regulation is a more effective mechanism than the application of legally binding norms, since the legislative framework often lacks the flexibility and fitness.

Theme 6. Informational Security

The rapid development and widespread use of information and communication technologies, including television, Internet media that have become global, in the face of complex international situations, led to the need to talk about such a notion as information security and in particular media security.

Media security is a condition of safety of each individual from unreliable or dangerous information, which causes harm to human health, its morality and personal development.

But the further development of information and communication technologies is recognized as the key factor in the success of the country's development in the context of global competition. And limiting the scope and dynamics of informatization for the purpose of ensuring information security is considered to be a loss. In this regard, the experience of the European Union is of interest.  The EU had chosen the way of the accelerated development of the information society as the basis for the social and economic progress of its member countries, and at the same time pays serious attention to issues of ensuring information security.

In 2006 the European Commission adopted the statement «Information Society Security Strategy "Dialogue, Partnership and Empowerment"». It reports about the need to develop a culture of security by increasing knowledge about the problem.

And here we can mention a process like media education. Media education in the modern world is viewed as a process of personal development with the help and on the basis of mass communication (media) to create a culture of communication with the media, creative, communicative abilities, critical thinking, full perception, interpretation, analysis and evaluation of media texts, teaching various forms self-expression with the help of media technology. The skills acquired as a result of this process are called media literacy.

Ensuring the security of consumers of audiovisual media products and Internet users is of great importance. Within the framework of the EU policy, a set of organizational and legal measures are implemented to protection of minor and human dignity. The EU has the Safer Internet Programme, whose goal is to expand the rights and protect children and young people online by implementing initiatives to raise awareness and combat illegal and destructive content and behavior. Directions of the program:

- creation of a secure on-line environment for children and adolescents; - Support for the Safe Internet Day (established in 2004); - organization of the Secure Internet Forum;

- stimulation and support of corporate self-regulation, interaction with other international organizations.

There is a set of measures in four main areas: 1) the creation of hotlines; 2) raising awareness; 3) improving the mechanisms of content filtering, age classification and marking; 4) development of corporate self-regulation.

After that, the activities of the "Safe Internet" program were successfully used as a model by other countries.

Theme 7. Media and Innovation

At present, the creation of an innovative economy and the formation of an innovative society (for example, documents Europe 2020, the Strategy for Innovative Development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020) becomes a strategic direction for the development of many countries in the first half of the 21st century. And in the media sphere a new combination of words “innovative journalism” has appeared. In English there are two word combinations - Innovation Journalism and Innovative Journalism, which have a different semantic load.

Innovation journalism is journalism, which is connected with the coverage of innovative subjects, inventions, introduction of new technologies in production, etc. This is the journalism about innovations.

Innovative journalism is innovation in journalism itself: the manifestation of convergent processes in the media, the degree of development of the profession and the introduction of new technologies in journalistic activity.

Innovative directions of development of media industry:

- transition to a complex newsroom (integrated), which combines print, online, radio and TV into one open space that produces content for all platforms.

- use of various business models of media start-ups.

- use of modern technological trends in the preparation of journalistic materials (for example, cloud technologies, software bots).

- preparation of "long" articles of the media (longrids) with the use of Internet opportunities, which allow creating high-quality voluminous works with various multimedia inserts, animation and infographics.

- distribution of virtual and augmented realities. Consumers will not just watch or read news - they can "experience" them as if they themselves are in the center of events.

- introduction of the membership program. These are discounts and bonuses to users, which can bring more profit than simply paid access to content.

- development of individual journalistic brands etc.

Case. New formats of work of modern mass media on the example of "De Correspondent"

The tasks of discussion of the case by students are:

- study of the experience of leading European media;

- acquaintance with new trends in the development of the media industry;

- discussion of possible prospects for introducing new tools for interaction with the audience;

- discussion of the possibility of using foreign experience by Russian media.

Work with the case is aimed at developing its own position regarding the prospects and consequences of innovations.

Theme 8. Prospects for the development of the media

Seminar on this Theme involves the identification of promising areas of development of the media and their assessment, the identification of problems and the current trends that have lost relevance. When preparing for the seminar it is recommended to study the opinions of experts in the field of media: publishers, journalists, editors, bloggers, printers, scientists, noting optimism and pessimism of experts' forecasts.

Based on the results of the seminar, students prepare a forecast of the future mass media in general and separately by types of media.

Theme 9. The status of English-language media in the EU

Topics for consideration of the theme:

- the importance of English-speaking media in different regions of Europe, the EU members (for example, the countries of Scandinavia, the countries of Eastern Europe);

- the influence of BBC on the audience of EU countries;

- the situation with Brexit;

- the status of English in Europe.


О.V. Menshatova, Cand. of Histor. Sc., reader. 


Translated from Russian by A. A. Verizhnikova; edited by I.A. Latypov.

Jean Monnet Module