Journal section "Discussion platform"

New Breath of the “Fourth Estate”

Morev M.V.

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2017

Morev M.V. New Breath of the “Fourth Estate”. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2017, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 76-100. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2017.1.49.5

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2017.1.49.5

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
In a rapidly and chaotically developing globalization processes, which are observed in recent years, the media have become increasingly important as factors influencing social consciousness. This phenomenon is associated with the increasing complexity of social structures and psychological relations in the course of natural evolution of mankind, with the development of information technology as well as the tense international situation caused by the deployment of the so-called hybrid warfare. Impact of the media on public knowledge is particularly relevant for the Russian Federation because, first, the “subjective” factor has always been highly important (which was confirmed more than once by the course of historical events) in the mentality of Russian society, and second, Russia plays a major role in the hybrid warfare. The aim of this study is to identify and characterize the specific features of social perception and social well-being prevailing in the public mind under the influence the media. The key question that the present article addresses is how objective the media reflect the existing social reality? Is the purpose of the “fourth estate” to help people see the objective and reliable information about political and economic situation in the country and abroad and thus involve the broad layers of society in the construction of social reality? Or are the modern media to a greater extent a tool of information management, focused on programming a certain type of behavior, forming certain types of psychological response to certain events taking place in Russia and in the world? The main sources of information for the preparation of this article were the results of a sociological research conducted in the territory of a particular region – the Vologda Oblast (ISEDT RAS) and in the whole country (VTsIOM, Levada-Center, RAS Institute of Sociology). The conclusions and issues raised in the course of the reasoning are fairly debatable, but, in the author’s view, they are worthy of discussion, primarily, due to the existence of potential threats to social stability and national security, which can be found in a distorted perception of social reality in public consciousness


public opinion, mass media, social reality, russian society, hybrid warfare

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