The new book of the Independent Institute of Communicators talks about problems of intolerant behavior of both journalists and their audience
Around 25% of Russians do not see anything reprehensible in intolerant behavior, either in their own behavior toward other or in others’ behavior toward themselves. The information published in the book “Social Violence and Tolerance: Realities and Media Illusions” by the Independent Institute of Communicators testifies to this fact. The book, published with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the autonomous non-commercial organization Internews, was presented today at the press conference “Who ‘ordered’ tolerance?” Those who are questioned about their intolerant behavior most often place responsibility for it on the particular qualities of their lives that forced them to become intolerant.
“Judging by the answers of the majority of those questioned, intolerance exists in practically all spheres of society, in both the political and private life of Russians,” the authors of the research conclude. “The more striking intolerance, bitterness, and agressiveness develop in such spheres of our lives as on the street, on transportation, in public places, politics, and law enforcement. In the opinion of the respondents, the basic reasons for the increasing of intolerance is the lowering of the standard of living, the low educational and cultural level of the population, and propaganda of aggressiveness and xenophobia, which is carried out by the mass media. The research showed that in the consciousness of most respondents there exists sufficiently cruel stereotypes in relation to representatives of ethnic minorities, social groups, and government, public, and political insitutions (e.g. homosexuals, transvestites, alcoholics, drug addicts, the homeless, migrants, etc.).
“A significant group of people thinks that in principle it is impossible to form a tolerant society in Russia,” the authors of the research note. “However, the majority of those interviewed think that it is possible to achieve a solution to this problem in the event that the authorities, the president, and citizens take on this task together.” The research also shows that the majority of journalists do not differ greatly from their audience in values, but that they attempt to understand the reasons for intolerant behavior in society. The majority of journalists categorically disagree with the claims that the media itself is made up of propagandists of extremism and violence. In their opinion, the media is first of all a platform for the expression of different views.