Grachev M.

Political Communication: from Translation to Dialogue

 

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: , 2628 1998 . .: , 1998. . 251253.

 

 

 

Politics exists only within concrete political activity and different ways of interaction among its actors. The essential part of political communication is informative exchange purposeful transmission and selected reception of information which has been exchanged by interacting individuals, social groups and particular organisations during the concrete social activity.

Up to the recent time this activity was often treated as particular sort of political relations, by means of which dominant political subjects produced and spread political ideas on the vertical principle: ruling elite ruled mass. We conceive the term mass media for information and propaganda to be precise concerning the situation when the whole informative stream was predominantly official and single-directed so when press, radio, TV simply informed the audience about already made decisions and already happened events and therefore influenced the audience.

But today, at the end of XX century, the possibility of alternative, uncontrollable by ruling elite, production and perception of political information sharply increased owing to the development of PC technology and new electronic means of communication. The telecommunication network service, which allow its users to exchange freely both private and public information, becomes more and more accessible and habitual.

The essence of changes in the sphere of political communication (we mean the changes, which allow to overcome the dominance and harsh control of definite sender over definite receiver of information) could be objectively illustrated through the models of alternative ways of informational circulation.

The model of translation assumes the simultaneous spread of information from one source to many subscribers, located on the periphery. Such situation takes place rather often for example, during the lecture or official report, when the audience is concentrated in some limited room, and also during TV-translation, when some [c.251] message is simultaneously receiving by rather large number of people, concentrating in different places. The key features of this model of one-sided communication are relatively little possibility of individual feedback loop (especially in the case of mass-media), and also the circumstance that time and place of communication is determined by the sender.


Dialogic model is relevant to the spread of information in real communicational network: individuals associate directly with each other, ignoring the centre and mediators and personally choosing the time, place and subject of information exchange. This model is also widely applied: from private correspondence and telephone conversation to the use of Internet and E-mail. The key feature of this model is the fact that it requires some kind of horizontal equality among the participants of information exchange in opposition to vertical principle guidance subjection, which is inherent to the model of translation. Without any doubt such type of communication doesn't exclude participation of more than two sides (for example, little meeting, telephone conference, discussion on Internet site and so on.) However, increase of participant's number and following appearance of a leader draw this model together with the model of translation.

Consulting model is also related to many situations when a person, located on the periphery of communication line, is looking for necessary information in the central informative archives (server, or any other data bank, in the most simple version work with books, newspapers etc. in the library). As against the model of translation, place, time and subject of consultation are determined not by the centre, but by local user, possessing maximum freedom.

The model of registration is an antithesis of consulting model. Here the centre requests and receives information from the source on periphery. For example, this model can be applied to the situation, when a person has no access to the central data bank, and also in the case of automatic record of telephone massages in electronic alarm and supervision systems. At that the concentration of information is often takes place without the knowledge and will of a person. While this scheme is not new, its potentials have increased sharply owing to computerisation and widening of telecommunication network. This model is characterised by the fact that the centre has more control over determination of informative stream's trend then a person on periphery of communicative network.

In the wide sense the tendency of transmission from the model of translation to the truly democratic dialog between rulers and [c.252] subjects assumes the equal exchange of precise, full and checked information about political phenomenons and processes, which should be connected with basic cultural values of given society, fundamental human rights individual freedoms. At the same time there are such features of great importance as freedom of speech, freedom to look for, get and spread information and ideas, if they don't contradict humanistic principles. There is no doubt that modern theory of political communication should develop exactly in this direction as a science and skill of attainment of social harmony, coordination of social, group and individual interests through mutual understanding, based on mutual respect and complete information. [c.253]