Just one word from our side: interesting."We live in a period when the Internet and other new means of communication are often used for criminal purposes. Even five years ago, the Internet was a giant dump used to defame particular politicians. Nowadays the situation has changed dramatically and the Internet has become a tool to create a manageable chaos. That has become evident during the Arab Spring, when social networks were used to overthrow governments.
At the same time, the very expression 'electronic mass media' has changed its meaning. Now it doesn't only correspond to electronic versions of newspapers, but the self-sufficient genre. Bloggers have become very influential. But it’s not clear whether they can be considered journalists or not, or whether professional ethics apply to them or not. Yaroslav Skvortsov, the dean of the Journalism Faculty of the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Affairs, addressing the last Eurasian forum, didn’t manage to answer the question.
The recent terrorist attack on Moscow Domodedovo Airport and the events in Kyrgystan have proved that to search web is the quickest way to find out information. Moreover, the role of the Internet is extremely important in forming public attitudes to any event. The first versions introduced by bloggers soon become the most popular. Those who come up with the best headlines become the best newsmakers.
The recent case of Nazarbayev’s medical operation has proved this. If only Kazakhstan had had a well-developed stock market, the news would’ve changed the situation surrounding the country’s finance dramatically. That’s how it happens in a country where the Internet has been playing an important role in the struggle for power inside the elite for years.
The most important thing is that the official media is always worse, when you need live and accurate information. The events in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have shown that the public is more ready to trust bloggers than pro-government TV and newspapers. Official sources of information are too politically engaged to provide the public with unprejudiced data and thus the public prefer to search the web.
These tendencies are evident even in such post-Soviet republics as Belarus and Turkmenistan. Nowadays more and more people (especially young people) trust the Internet more than printed editions. Young men practically don’t read printed newspapers and seldom watch TV. Teenagers are especially attentive to the sources of information they use.
That’s why politicians (from Dmitry Medvedev to Karim Masimov) start writing blogs and using social networks. However, for the majority of them that’s just a game and nothing else. Nonetheless, the problem remains.
The first way out is to prohibit social networking and writing blogs. Evidently such measures would be very insufficient, it would lead to isolation and stagnation. In today’s world, information is more valuable then oil or gas. Still, governments should control electronic media.
One of the reasons is the fact that the Internet can be used to expand nationalism and xenophobia, major threats to the present-day world. It’s very important to cover news dealing with inter-ethnic relations in an unbiased way. However, those who encourage speculation and raise panic are often the most successful newsmakers".
By Alexey Vlasov. Exclusively to VK.
To be continued.