How do young adults perceive and experience news, especially when they say they do not follow it? How is certain novel information about the world nevertheless made meaningful in their everyday lives? While a growing number of studies have focused on the role of multi-platform mobile technology in young people’s daily experiences, few studies have aimed to reconceptualize news from this perspective, paying particular attention to the phenomenology of news perception in the digital age. Such a reconceptualization is all the more important since the basic dimensions of phenomenology – namely, time, space and cultural relevance – coincide with the basic dimensions of news as a cultural form. This talk will draw from ongoing fieldwork with college students in Kazan, Russia, focusing particularly on the challenges of conducting a “news reception” study when what counts as “news” is not separable from the rest of their coming-of-age experiences on and offline.
Natalia Roudakova is a cultural anthropologist (Ph.D., Stanford University, 2007) working in the fields of political communication, journalism, and media studies, with an interest in moral philosophy and political and cultural theory. Roudakova has a broad international research and teaching profile, having worked as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication, University of California in San Diego; as Visiting Professor at Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands); and as Researcher in the Department of Communication at Södertörn University, Sweden.
In 2013-2014, Roudakova was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, California, where she completed her award-winning book, Losing Pravda: Ethics and the Press in Post-Truth Russia (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Losing Pravda examines the spectacular professional unraveling of journalism in Russia during the 1990s and 2000s and its societal ramifications. More broadly, Losing Pravda tracks how a post-truth society comes into being, illuminating the historical and cultural emergence of “fake news,” disinformation (kompromat), and general distrust in politics and public life.
Roudakova’s new research is focused on the phenomenology of news perception in the digital age. Specifically, she is studying how young adults in Russia perceive and practice news, and how news is made meaningful in their everyday lives.