Media linguistics today is a rapidly developing research area. Scientific and didactic needs for knowledge of the regularities of language functioning in the media promote its active development. After all, the language of the media is primarily exposed to various dynamic processes, new spheres are formed in this area before our very eyes, and new regularities in the use of national languages are detected.
To keep abreast of these processes and developments, the Department of Speech Communication of the 'Higher School of Journalism and Mass Communication' (St. Petersburg State University) initiated the creation of the International Media Linguistic Commission under the International Slavists Committee. The Commission was supported by many Russian and foreign researchers of media speech, including such well-known scientists as Vitaly Kostomarov, a member of Russian Education Academy; Olga Sirotinina, a corresponding member of Russian Academy of Science; Teun van Dijk, the world famous Dutch linguist; and Stanislav Gajda, the corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. On 27 August 2013, at the XV International Slavists Congress, held in Minsk, Belarus, this commission was approved.
The Commission includes leading media linguists from the following countries: a) Russia (I. Annenkova, N. Bolotnova, L. Duskaeva, M. Kazak, E. Kara-Murza, V. Konkov, A. Polonsky, V. Salimovsky, N. Tsvetova, T. Shmeleva, E. Yagunova); b) Belarus (V. Ivchenkov, T. Karpilovich, M. Konyushkevich); c) Ukraine (E. Shestakova, A. Shilina, L. Shevchenko); d) Bulgaria (L. Tsoneva, E. Stojanova); and e) Poland (B. Bogolebska, B. Skovronek, D. Brzozovska). Professor Lilia Duskaeva, the head of the Department of Speech Communication (St. Petersburg State University), was elected as the Commision’s chair.
The employees of the Department of Speech Communication at the 'Higher School of Journalism and Mass Communication' under the auspices of the Media Linguistic Commission are working on several fronts.
Creating and maintaining a media linguistic website
A web resource, ‘Media Linguistics – XXI Century’, was created on the proposal of the participants of the First International Scientific Seminar of medialinguists, held on 7 December 2011 at the Faculty of Journalism at St. Petersburg State University. On 30 November 2012 on the International Scientific-practical conference the presentation of the project was launched. The aim of this project is to promote the study of speech activity in the media, allowing Russian and foreign researchers to share information and to work together on joint projects. The site contains different sections, such as 'News' (information about conferences, new books and other important events in medialinguistics), 'Media Linguistics in Persons' (contains information about more than 70 medialinguists from Russia, Europe and Asia), 'Library' (includes several hundreds of scientific resources in Slavic related to language of mass media).
Organizing of International Scientific-Practical Seminars and Round Tables
Since 2011, the Department of Speech Communication has annually held the Seminar Speech communication in the media. The aim of this seminar is to analyze the current status of the study of media texts, to attract the attention of the scientific and education community to the problems of medialinguistics and prospects of its development. The objectives of the seminar include: a) the consolidation of linguists in different spheres; b) strengthening scientific and educational communication between experts in Russia and Europe; c) discussion of promising directions within interdisciplinary media researches; and d) exchange of experiences of carrying out media linguistic research. The seminar is aimed at the discussion of topical problems of modern media linguistics and familiarization with the current state of linguistic science focused on the study of media language. The first seminar titled Media text as poly-intentional system was held on 7 and 8 December 2011. The second, Speech communication in the media was held on 17-19 April 2013. In March 2014 St. Petersburg State University held the third seminar, Speech genres in mass media. The results of the seminars are reflected in the collections of papers and placed in the library of the site, Media Linguistics – XXI Century.
Since 2014, the geography of seminars has been expanding. On 10 March, the seminar was held at Minsk State University (Belarus), on 19 March at Moscow State University, and on 2 April at Belgorod State University. Information about the events can be found on our web site (http://medialing.spbu.ru/). There are future plans to expand the geography and hold seminars in both Poland and Bulgaria.
Creation of the International Scientific Journal, Media Linguistics
In May 2014, a new scientific journal, Media Linguistics was launched, registered with the International ISSN center. The publisher and founder of the journal is the Institute of the 'Higher school of journalism and mass communication', St. Petersburg State University. The journal is based on the site, Media Linguistics – XXI Century and thematic collections of scientific materials and articles gathered in the 'Media Linguistics' series. Working languages for the pieces are Russian and English.
The new journal's mission is to provide an in-depth reflection of the state of modern media linguistics as a branch of linguistics and to give a comprehensive coverage of the most interesting and significant scientific approaches to media speech studies. The editorial board plans to publish articles devoted to general theoretical problems of the functioning of language means in the media; media speech typology; comparative studies and other areas.
The editorial emphasizes the continuity of the journal Media Linguistics in relation to the website and the collections of scientific articles by the unity of the name and preservation of numbering; the first volume of the journal was released in May 2014, which was at the same time the fourth edition of the collection. The journal includes the articles of scholars from Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, China, Germany and Finland.
Information from: Yulia Konyaeva. Medialinguistic Commission under the International Slavists Committee // Russian Journal of Communication, 2014. Vol. 6, №3, p. 328-329.