by Janne Suutarinen
Professor Markku Lonkila (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) along with Larisa Shpakovskaya (HSE, Russia) and Philip Torchinsky (independent researcher) have studied the Russian government’s measures of bringing Runet under tighter control after the social media -fueled protests in the beginning of 2010’s. The adoption of new regulations was followed by increasing punishments toward certain Runet users, and now the oppositional voices online are quite muffled.
Lonkila, Shpakovskaya and Torchinsky.
What is the evolution of Runet and its present state of affairs seen from the viewpoint of state control?
The protest wave in Russia 2011–2013 completely changed the Kremlin’s attitude towards social media. Before the protests the Kremlin had counted on the control of nationwide TV channels, and Russian-language section of the internet had been practically free from regulation.
by Janne Suutarinen
In the beginning of November, BBC News announced that three major Russian internet companies, Yandex, Mail.ru and Rambler, have teamed up with leading media production companies to sign a memorandum combating piracy. The guarantor of the agreement’s execution will be Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media.
The memorandum stipulates that the media will create a register of websites hosting pirated materials. The internet service companies oblige themselves to consult the register every five minutes and remove listed websites from their search engine results within six hours.
According to BBC News, the copyright holders that have signed the memorandum are Gazprom-Media, National Media Group, Channel One, All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), STS-Media, Association of Film and Television Producers, Internet Video Association (online cinema association), video platform Ruform, as well as Yandex-owned Kinopoisk.ru. Other copyright holders are welcomed to join the agreement.
Russian Media Lab’s Mariëlle Wijermars (PhD), who conducts research on media and internet governance in Russia, thinks the memorandum is an interesting case because it creates a new mechanism of internet content control that operates outside of existing legal structures.
By Olga Dovbysh & Janne Suutarinen
“You have lots of freedom of speech in the internet and in social media, but there exists a fine line somewhere. Nobody knows exactly where it is, or if one has crossed it or not.”
Since February 2017, Thielko Grieß has worked as a correspondent and presenter of Deutschlandradio in Moscow.
Grieß studied Cultural Studies, Political Science and Communication and Media Studies in Leipzig, Jena and Ljubljana and then gained his first journalistic experience as a news editor and reporter at MDR (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk). In 2009 he was part of the founding team of the newsroom of DRadio Wissen. After the traineeship Grieß worked as a presenter of the program “Morning information” (Informationen am Morgen) on Deutschlandfunk and was one of the station’s external reporters.
Having journalistic experience in two different media systems, in the interview Grieß reflects on peculiarities of journalistic work in Russia.
What are your reflections of working as a journalist in Moscow in comparison to your journalistic experience in other countries?
I have worked as a journalist in various countries but for a longer period of time only in two: Russia and Germany. Because of that, I would like to compare the aforementioned.
By Janne Suutarinen
The 18th Aleksanteri Conference “Liberation – Freedom – Democracy? 1918–1968–2018” again brought together hundreds of scholars and enthusiasts of Russian and Eastern-European studies. In the conference, Russian Media Lab hosted one roundtable, one plenary session and six panels. The project’s manager and Aleksanteri Institute’s director, professor Markku Kangaspuro was pleased with Russian Media Lab’s part in the program.
Was the Russian Media Lab stream at the conference successful?
“Definitely successful: the project got more visibility and all of our panels attracted good amount of researchers.”
In your perspective, what were the stream’s main contributions to the conference?
“The project really raised up our research topics for the whole conference – not only in the panels but also in the plenary session. And we can’t forget Mariëlle’s contribution as the coordinator of the whole conference.”
Did there come up new ideas for the project?