From Soviet to Russian Media Managers

In: Russian Politics
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  • 1 Center of Communication Leadership and Policy, Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA,
  • | 2 School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, United Kingdom,
  • | 3 School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, United Kingdom,
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Smashing initial hopes for more radical and speedier changes in Russia, elements of the Soviet system of managerial and ideological control proved to be obstinately persistent. Certain practices reminiscent of the informal functioning of the Soviet nomenklatura continue unabated primarily in politics, but also in Russian media. This article argues that nomenklatura practices are still a fixed part in organization management in Russian media today, securing the loyalty of journalists and controlling the output of the news media. The analysis of 30 semi-structured interviews and three case studies, scrutinizing media managers’ professional biographies, directs to a non-intuitive development; namely, that it is not necessarily those who have experienced the Soviet nomenklatura closely and in person who were most active in applying and perpetuating nomenklatura practices, but also those who were either remote from these power structures or too young.

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