The very notion of renaissance, which was introduced by Giorgio Vasari, implies a loss. You cannot revive something that has not been lost. The European journalism has lost a lot recently, as much as the European system of communications in general. And this dramatic change is resulting from the transformation of the social field, as far as every media communication is a reflection of the society.
The recent events, mainly connected with the Middle East, Africa and even Ukraine, have displayed the depth of the crisis. Francis Fukuyama, the author of ‘The End of History’ book, postulated that the USSR collapse became the final point in this entire struggle of darkness and light – totalitarianism and democracy. And, therefore, there are no any barriers for freedom and democratic values to spread all over, we only have to wait a while and the new stage of worldwide development will begin. Let me apologize in advance for such a simplification of the author’s idea. But we have to admit that this theory is a rare case of such an grand failure. As we can see, Mr. Fukuyama became a person of such greatness for hitting the target from the backside of the board.
The history found its way: after the collapse of the post-war bipolar system billions of agents became involved in civil and political processes of creating new societies, communions and even countries of their own. And it all happened in one extremely short historic period. From this point, the events on Tahrir Square, Euromaidan, and the Arab Spring are the issues of same origin. These all are episodes of transformation of the old world and birth of a new one.
This involvement of masses of people in the social and political reconstruction generated the new world order, the new paradigm of development.
And the most important is the transformation of liberal values. During the long period of their development we got used to the thought that liberal values are organic to the human nature. If a communion of human beings is left alone and is completely free to regulate its own activities, people will tend towards the notions of human rights and rights of minorities, democracy, freedom etc, we were told. Before the 1990s, these values were under systematic attacks of the official communist ideology, but when that ideology collapsed, we came to an illusion that nothing was threatening the liberal values anymore. If during the Cold War the appliance of liberal notions was framed and pushed for from the outside, after the USSR collapse, the triumph of liberalism was to become comprehensive. At least it was the common idea, also stated by Fukuyama.
I can recall an episode of how, back in the 1990s, the EBU was warning VGTRK (Russian State Broadcasting Company) about the necessity to observe the decencies and avoid direct performance of homosexuality the by Russian band TATU at the Eurovision song contest. In 2014, Eurovision was forced to guarantee the rights of homosexual minorities.
So we can establish the fact that the most romantic and limitless understanding of liberal rights has triumphed.
In the 1990s, a lot of people from the former Soviet Union, Middle East got involved into the real political life, as I said before. And these people were inspired by these liberal values. The other side is how many interpret them in a different way.
Let me explain – all of this is very similar to the situation in the Tsarist Russia in the early 20th century. The revolution happened due to five very important conditions. First, the traditional patriarchal society collapsed. The same thing happens nowadays in the Islamic countries. Second, a large number of young people has no any roots – neither economical nor social or cultural. Third, there is a large number of intelligent people who are radical enough to commit a reckless attack on the present foundations. Fourth, enormous wealth is concentrated in a very few hands. Fifth, simplification of liberal values has led people to understanding of liberal values as a rough right for equity and parity.
We can see that the events which have happened on the world arena can be considered a worldwide civil war similar to the one in Russia in the early 20th century. But this war comes from the web and is unfolding on the media field.
Anyway, it is just a preamble.
But it became obvious that we are in need of real journalistic renaissance. The renaissance of Journalism based on facts, professional, independent and balanced. The one that emerged in the 20th century.
Today millions of people are involved in the global process of info sharing. New posts and articles are produced every single second. As a result, we have no chance to find out the real situation, considering that almost all information that pops up is biased. Even the official media resources became preconceived. It is obvious that journalism requires renaissance.
The latest research supports this idea. According to the Eurobarometer, the most popular European media is radio – 52% percent of respondents opted for it. And the consumption of official media is growing. We have come to realize that professional journalism is necessary for survival of the civilized society. But, most of all, honest, qualified and adequate journalism.