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Television and culture in Putin's Russia - Stephen C. Hutchings

9780415419079
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Title
Television and culture in Putin's Russia - remote control
Author
Stephen C. Hutchings
format
Hardback
Publisher
Routledge
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20090326

This book examines television culture in Russia under the government of Vladimir Putin. In recent years, the growing influx into Russian television of globally mediated genres and formats has coincided with a decline in media freedom and a ratcheting up of government control over the content style of television programmes. All three national channels (First, Russia, NTV) have fallen victim to Putin's power-obsessed regime. Journalists critical of his Chechnya policy have been subject to harassment and arrest; programmes courting political controversy, such as Savik Shuster's Freedom of Speech (Svoboda slova) have been taken off the air; coverage of national holidays like Victory Day has witnessed a return of Soviet-style bombast; and reporting on crises, such as the Beslan tragedy, is severely curtailed. The book demonstrates how broadcasters have been enlisted in support of a transparent effort to install a latter-day version of imperial pride in Russian military achievements at the centre of a national identity project over which, from the depths of the Kremlin, Putin's government exerts a form of remote control. However, central to the book's argument is the notion that because of the changes wrought upon Russian society after 1985, a blanket return to the totalitarianism of the Soviet media has, notwithstanding the tenor of much western reporting on the issue, not occurred. Despite the fact that television is nominally understate control, that control remains remote and less than wholly effective, as amply demonstrated in the audience research conductedfor the book, and in analysis of contradictions at the textual level.Overall, this book provides a fascinating account of the role of television under President Putin, and will be of interest to all those wishing to understand contemporary Russian society.

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Stephen Hutchings is Chair in Russian Studies in the Department of Russian Studies, University of Manchester, UK. He is the author of Russian Literary Culture in the Camera Age: The World as Image (2004), and co-editor ofSoviet and Post-Soviet Screen Adaptations of Literature: Screening the World(co-edited with Anat Vernistki, 2004), both published by Routledge.



Natalia Rulyova is Lecturer in Russian at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.

'The most unconventional aspect of the book is that it addresses television not through the filter of the political, as is the case with analogous works, but from the standpoint of cultural studies and theories of cultural meaning. Hutchings and Rulyova also provide meticulous statistics on television programming in provincial cities as well as Moscow and St. Petersburg. Recommended.' - CHOICE, November 2009

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Television and politics - Russia (Federation)|Television broadcasting of news - Russia (Federation)
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
251

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