Staunton, Sept. 24 – Like most people in power, Russian rulers are inclined to blame the messenger rather than the message. They see the media as a cause of problems rather than a reflection of those which exist in society. And they are especially exercised by the impact of new media like the Internet.
In the wake of the latest Russian Columbine violence, Aleksandr Bastrykin, head of the Investigation Committee, declared that the Internet is to blame for the attitudes of Russian young people like the youth who shot and killed some of his fellow students in Perm last week (realtribune.ru/ljudej-razvrashhaet-ne-internet-a-samo-obshhestvo).
But as Mikhail Bresler, an instructor in the department of international relations, history and Oriental studies at Ufa State Oil Technology University points out, the media has an impact but the general state of society has a far greater one. And in reality, “the media sphere only reflects what exists in real life.”
Aggression and the belief that violence can solve problems are part of Russian life, the Ufa scholar continues. And that must be acknowledged rather than acting as if suppressing the media reporting them will solve the problem. Overcoming aggressiveness won’t be easy or quick.
It will only happen, Bresler says, if Russians acknowledge its real sources rather than blaming mirrors.