How can you make academic culture more interesting for the media, and, therefore, for the wider public? This issue was brought up at the Round table discussion “Culture on the front page” that took place yesterday at the Business venue of the IV St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. The chairman of the Association of consulting companies in the field of public relations (AKOS), the general director of communication agency SPN Communications and the head of the section “Mass communications” at the Forum Andrey Barannikov and the host of "White Studio" show on the TV channel “Culture” Daria Zlatopolskaya performed as moderators of the discussion. The Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky, the Minister of Culture of Krasnoyarsk Region Elena Mironenko as well as cultural workers, representatives of leading mass media entities and Russian and international experts in the field of communications took part in the discussion.
At the meeting agency SPN Communications presented its research of press coverage of culture during the previous six months, according to which Vladimir Medinsky has beaten all the records in mentioning statistics in the cultural section of Russian media. It is show business and culture-related information occasions but not high art that prevail among the publications on cultural subjects.
The participants of the discussion agreed that cultural institutions should make themselves known more actively and cooperate with the media on a higher professional level. Elena Mironenko shared some examples of successful attraction of journalists and audience to cultural events from her own experience. “We are poor as long as we are modest,” – the minister claimed. The director of the St. Petersburg State Theatre "Music Hall" Julia Strizhak appeared to agree with her: “Today many cultural institutions behave in a snobbish way, but I am sure that we ourselves should take care of making events attractive for the media”.
Meanwhile, there exists a demand for serious art in the society, which is proved with, in particular, high ratings of cultural projects on the TV and number of views of cultural news in Internet editions. “The culture section of our website is daily visited by up to 150 thousand people, – editor in chief of Internet publication Lenta.ru Alexander Goreslavsky said. – There definitely exists interest in culture. Make it interesting – and you will succeed”. Vladimir Medinsky, in his turn, urged the representatives of the press to approach to covering cultural themes in a more thoughtful, profound and critical way.
However, experts emphasised that today it is necessary for cultural institutions to be engaged in a dialogue not only with professional journalists, but also with bloggers and other influential figures on the Internet, which shape opinions and tastes of the wider audience along with the traditional media. This idea served as a basis for the next panel discussion of the section “Mass communications” called “Like saves the world. The role of new communication technologies in culture”.