Evgeny Nikolaychuk on Vesti.FM: national media in Russia should take into account the audience’s needs
Russia is a multinational country, and this determines a large number of the national press published in it. 176 ethnic groups that speak 120 languages are registered in Russia. Almost all of them have their national media,” the Vestnik Kavkaza analyst, Evgeny Nikolaychuk said in the National Question program on Vesti.FM today.
"In total, there are officially 2,200 publications in national languages in Russia. Thus, in the Volga Federal District, about 400 newspapers are published in the languages of the peoples of Russia, in Dagestan - 465, in Adygea - 62, in Kalmykia - 73."
“At first glance, the situation is optimistic. The administrations of national regions are proud to report their support for the national press, they list publications in national languages, the journalistic contests are held. However, on closer examination, not everything is so great. In reality, the national leveling trend prevails leading to a gradual disappearance of national press from the country's media field. In the autonomous republics, autonomous okrugs and regions of the Russian Federation, the number of indigenous people who know their native language is shrinking, powerful assimilation is taking place. The exact number of national print media is unknown today: many of them are established, registered, but rarely printed. The number of copies is limited and they read by a very small percent of the audience since the return of printed numbers reaches 80%. And this is even though a significant part of newspapers and magazines is subsidized from the state budget and distributed free of charge,” Evgeny Nikolaychuk said.
”The media printed in the national languages should change in the same way as large federal media. If they are deprived of state support today, they will immediately disappear from the information field. The consequences of this ”dying” of national media are obvious - it threatens the preservation of the small nations and nationalities languages, and, therefore, the preservation of national cultures and life of the nation itself. "
To preserve the national press, national media must understand and take into account the changing demands of their audience, learn how to create the content that readers will find only (or above all) in publications in their native language and which the Russian-language press does not offer them. To find their constant and loyal readers, national media must occupy their own “national” niche, for example, cultural, religious, youth, and other thematic publications that today remain popular and relevant. Evgeny Nikolaychuk highlighted the case of the Baku magazine published for 12 years already.
"Its popularity is simply explained: it unites not just Azerbaijanis, but Baku residents. People want to feel that they belong not to some abstract ethnic community, but primarily to their people. They are looking for their national roots, traditions, striving to become carriers of a vibrant national culture to pass it to their children and grandchildren. A new ethnonational ideology is being created in Russia, and now the only question is how quickly the national media can get involved in this process,” the analyst concluded.