Features of the TV channel “Culture” in the context of modern Russian media
XX century entered the history of mankind as a century of information technology that changed the worldview of culture. What was available only to the elect became the property of millions. A statement of this fact allowed some scholars to call the development of culture in the era of mass communications “the peak of the democratic spiral of historical development and the spread of the spiritual values of man” 1. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that culture is acquiring a heavy burden of “mass”, in which, according to K. Jaspers, “spirituality is perishing” 2. By “mass” is meant, first of all, the mass production of a mass media product, and in this sense it is equated with an industrial product, the profitability of which is determined solely by the rating and advertising revenue.
Technology and the market predetermined the features of the functioning of culture in modern society. Thanks to technology, high values have become available to modern man. However, the inclusion of culture in the system of market relations, focusing solely on commercial success leads to the depreciation of traditional values accumulated by mankind in the difficult struggle between duty and desire, to the disappearance of the criteria of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, permissible and forbidden, fair and unfair.
The relevance of this problem became apparent with the advent of television, which in half a century has transformed from the “most convincing informant” 3 to “an extremely powerful tool for influencing the masses.” 4 Television comes from the Greek tele – into the distance, far and Latin video – I see. In the very name of the technical tool – “see far” – it is as if its enormous educational potential has already been encoded, thanks to which the cultural resources of the information and communication space seem truly limitless. And in this capacity, it gains unlimited power over public consciousness, propagandizing certain moral norms and values as the basis of everyday life.
Moreover, the cultural context in which these norms and values are formed plays a huge role. If European culture is characterized by a desire to make the world more orderly, comfortable, enjoyable for life (and the media are guided by this philosophy of a consumer society), domestic culture has always focused on morality, on spiritual improvement of a person, on the upbringing of his feelings through art.
In most European countries that went through the commercialization stage before us, mixed models of television broadcasting have developed. Having allowed commercial television to develop, these countries also maintain public television, which acts as a “counterweight” to commercial television and maintains a balanced television offer. According to the theoretician and practitioner of domestic television S. Muratov, the confrontation of public-state and commercial television in Western Europe was creatively fruitful. It “stimulates the merits of each of these broadcasting models and absorbs their shortcomings (the danger of elite television for highbrow or, conversely, the threat of cultural sterilization).”
Russia faced this problem only in the last decade of the past century. The formation of domestic television was in the Soviet years, when its activities were strictly regulated and controlled by the state. The ideological and political nature of broadcasting, of course, limited the scope of the humanistic knowledge of a mass audience. However, from the point of view of the specifics of television, the national culture was enriched by the experience of creating cultural and educational programs that contributed to the disclosure of the visual and expressive capabilities of television as a new form of art, which sought in its infinite openness and mobility to develop a deep spiritual content.
In the early 1990s, the decentralization of television broadcasting led to the creation of commercial television in the country. Remaining a powerful institution for the formation of worldview views of society, commercial television abandoned its educational functions to the detriment of the highest interests of society, and its further development is already taking place without taking into account the value guidelines, moral and ethical codes of Russian culture, and the characteristics of the national mentality.
Today, domestic television operates in a completely defined coordinate system – this is rating and advertising. The omnipresent and omnipotent advertising precisely defines all the “prestigious values” of society and strictly regulates the lifestyle of its members. The main commandment of advertising: “consume and be happy!”. Consume only THIS food and drink, THIS clothing and shoes, THIS furniture, THESE cars, THESE books, performances, films, TV shows, THIS lifestyle – and don’t think about anything, because the advertisement has already thought of everything and decided for you how to live who to live with, what to buy, what to watch, what to read, how to work and relax.