Kamilla Nigmatullina, Head of the Department of Digital Media Communications and Associate Professor at St Petersburg University, and Nikolai Rodosskii, a doctoral student, have taken part in the international digital project ‘Intersecting’. The materials prepared by these researchers are about the consequences of the pandemic for the media.

The author of the electronic edition is The Global Solutions Initiative (GSI) — the organisation established to settle global problems highlighted by the G20 and G7. The book was published with the support of the German Society for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and the publishing house ‘New Dialogues’.

Media researcher Kamilla Nigmatullina emphasises that in March 2020 the Russian Internet media increased their audience by 65 million people. Six months later, in autumn, the number of COVID-19 cases did not return to the level shown at the beginning of the pandemic. This was despite the ‘second wave’ being characterised by a more severe pandemic situation. The development of the vaccine was also progressing. This phenomenon was called ‘infodemia’ Associate Professor Nigmatullina added.

‘The experience of participating in such projects helps Russian media researchers to build their global experience. This can also include the Petersburg’s point of view in their understanding of international current events. At present the media are the main mediators and translators not only of ideas and values, but mostly of emotions and feelings that are able to unite or to separate people. It was essential to us to show that the media infrastructure had a crucial impact on the comprehension of the pandemic all over the world,’ says Kamilla Nigmatullina, Head of the Department of Digital Media Communications and Associate Professor at St Petersburg University.

Doctoral student Nikolai Rodosskii came to the conclusion that during the pandemic social networks became not only the core source of communication but also a source of compassion, support and understanding for many people. Nonetheless, it is the social networks that continue to be the main channel of sharing fake news. The isolation enhanced this negative effect significantly. The researcher underlines that social networks are valuable scientific materials to draw maps and to build models demonstrating how authorities of different cities were trying to overcome the consequences of COVID-19.

The electronic edition ‘Intersecting’ is an attempt to reflect on COVID-19 by researchers around the world. The authors are trying to find an answer to the question: What should society do to mitigate the consequences of such global crises in the different spheres of life: social, economic, political and cultural? More than 100 scientists submitted their view of the situation.