St Petersburg University is launching a new Master programme in journalism titled ‘Russian Media Studies’. It is designed for international applicants who wish to understand the media landscape of the modern Russia, to acquire skills in research and comparative analysis of media, and to work as a reporter in Russia or about Russia.
“This program is unique because it links the Russian media system to world’s one,” comments professor Svetlana Bodrunova, the creative mind behind the program. “It teaches how to deal with Russia in communicative and journalistic terms. And it speaks about the context of today’s Russian media.”
Russia is an extremely challenging and absorbing object of study in communication science. For journalism scholars and researches, this country represents a chance to look not only at Russian context, but also on a macro-regional situation at the post-Soviet space. This region is interesting for a number of reasons: it is big, very diverse, and it demonstrated varying attitudes to the process of globalization. So that, the Russian Media Studies programme trains to know the nowadays’ Russia, to report this country, and to understand why Russian media have developed in certain ways throughout the country’s history.
One of the goals of the programme is to teach how to study Russian media, their traditions and the particularities of the media industry. St Petersburg is one of the best places to study Russian media despite the fact that Moscow concentrates all the biggest media companies. The matter is that the political history of St Petersburg is unique − it is called ‘a cradle of three revolutions’ and the Northern Capital of Russia whose cultural heritage is known worldwide. The last but not the least is that St Petersburg holds linkages to many European regions and remains a gateway to Russia, as it has been for more than three centuries.
The idea of creating the Russian Media Studies Master programme has appeared many years ago. “After conducting a number of semester-long non-degree courses in English which were quite popular among international students, we have seen that we can teach in English on a global scale”, said professor Bodrunova. Russian Media Studies is considered to be a heir of the double-degree international programme ‘Global Communication and International Journalism’ conducted in 2014-2018 together with Freie Universitaet Berlin.
The structure of the education includes compulsory courses (Journalism in Global Context, Russian Media Landscape, Media Research Methods, Content and Editorial Management in Modern Journalism, etc.) and elective disciplines (Russian History, Comparative Media Studies, Digital Content Production, Media Lab in Online Media, Environmental Journalism, Gender Issues in Journalism, etc.). The developers aim to achieve the balance between practice and theory. So, among lecturers who can fully educate in English are both professionals and academics representing Russian and European universities.
At the launch year, the programme has ten paid-for places for enrollees of any citizenship. It means that students will form a multinational group. The admission is based on portfolio assessment. The key portfolio points for entrants are motivational letter, diploma, and documents that prove the level of English language proficiency (EILTS / TOEFL / CERF certificates or alternative options).