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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.21/April 1997 - contents - imprint - archive

Cultural Reconstruction and Development (CURED)

Human Sciences Research Council's Project Aimed at Creating Policy Positions on Cultural Issues in the New South Africa
by Arnold Shepperson

The Centre for Cultural and Media Studies (CCMS), largely ignored by state-supported research bodies in the Old South Africa, has found its credentials and is receiving serious notice with the evolution of the New South Africa. Among the parastatal issues dealt with by the Centre staff since 1994 are telecommunications, arts and culture policy, and broadcasting. (For CCMS activities, see Culturelink no. 20/November 1996, pp. 16-18.)

The Human Sciences Research Council's (HSRC) paper on Cultural Reconstruction and Development has recently arrived in the Centre. Our experience with this is emblematic, not only of the shift in the way parastatals operate. It is also characteristic of the ways in which the Centre has had to shift its focus.

In the past, critical theoretical operations like the CCMS had to operate in a reactive way. After April 1994, we have found ourselves in a position to make a positive contribution to the business of government, where previously our focus was on resistance to government. This rather novel situation has meant that we have had to reassess what our stance towards the state ought to be. In the remainder of this article, I will talk about this in relation to the HSRC's CURED project.

Most cultural debate in South Africa followed one of two lines. On the one hand, 'culture' was the target of Leftist intellectuals because of its anthropological meanings. In other words, we were very much aware of the use of culture by the state as a means of bolstering arguments for racial separation. The other line followed the 'High-Low-Popular' culture polemic. In this approach, culture was associated with some definition of Taste, and we usually approached these discussions from the point of view of the political economy of symbolic production.

In less intellectual terms, we dealt with the latter approach first by seeing just who owned or subsidised what in the field of the media and artistic activities. Secondly, we would ask how to encourage those excluded by existing ownership or subsidy systems to go about producing 'culture' for themselves. Generally, the reputation of the CCMS rests upon, and is most commonly associated with, our work in the media and performance arts.

To the extent that the CURED proposals coincide with our previous work, they are in line with the second type of cultural thought. However, while this approach was a useful one from the point of view of anti-apartheid activism in the fields of the media and popular performance, we very quickly found that it was not so easy to draw upon for positive action with regard to policy. If we are to create policies which dictate Taste, then no matter how close to The People these may be at first, they become impositions for another generation. We simply could not square this with the idea of a democratic society.

We decided to narrow down the overall approach so that certain basic requirements could be met. The first requirement was the issue of economy. What kind of policy, we asked, would get the most bang for the buck? Secondly, we had to look at the effectiveness of cultural policy in the democratic environment. What, we asked, would be the approach which would uplift the least-privileged people here and now over the longest possible term. Finally, who are these people in cultural terms?

Besides being undemocratic, the Taste approach was too clumsy: what kind of Art would do the trick? Most important from our point of view was the question of benefit: who would get the most from basing cultural policy on this kind of theory?

In the present environment of media globalization, we concluded that the entertainment industry would be the only long-term beneficiary. What did make sense, however, was a different approach to the anthropological conception of culture.

The CCMS policy framing paper developed the idea of Culture around exactly what the original meaning of the word was: to nurture, tend, look after, and live in a place. We re-read the work of cultural studies scholars. It was clear that this aspect of culture had received attention largely in terms of English experience: issues of class pervaded the material, and gender questions focused mainly on the media and economic representation of women. But in anthropological terms, the people under consideration remained citizens of settled industrial societies.

For South Africa, we took as our starting point one of the most significant constituencies: women who singly and collectively head households in urban and periurban areas.

Here we had concrete agents of nurture and looking after. They presented a good demographic 'hook' to confront the questions of 'how much?' and 'how many?'. We then asked: what is the object of the activities of nurture, tending, and so on? We took the answer from radical philosophy (Agnes Heller, Beyond Justice. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1987.): taking people born into the world and raising their endowments into talents.

This unlocked the whole debate. We could look at cultural needs, the primary focus of CURED, in concrete terms. Women raising their children have specific needs, and they can articulate them. The talents which can be seen as undesirable can be readily identified against the simple radical criterion: does a talent require people to be held in subordination?

This way of approaching policy enabled us to set up guidelines not only for the target communities of cultural reconstruction. We were also able to use it to separate the different kinds of activity relevant for local, regional and national policy formation.

At the moment, the CCMS is setting up a pilot research project based on this approach in the Durban township of Lamontville. Issues to be addressed will include: library services, transport for schoolchildren, facilities for pre-school activity, primary health care, school feeding schemes, and similar issues. These appear far removed from traditional notions of 'Culture'. Yet the absence of such services and facilities is a fundamental hindrance to the activity of raising people's endowments into talents suited to an industrial society. We simply recognise the fact that it is the women doing the nurturing and looking after who are the primary agents of culture in any culture: cultural policy should therefore start with them and stay with them.

Address: Centre for Cultural and Media Studies, University of Natal, Private Bag X10, Dalbridge, Durban 4014, South Africa, tel.: +27 (031) 2602505 / 2602298; fax: +27 (031) 2601519 / 2602214; e-mail: govends@mtb.und.ac.za

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The Visual Construction of Reality Research Programme

During the 1996-1999 period, an interdisciplinary research programme at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, will focus on visual communication and visual cognition. Six departments - Film and Media Studies, Psychology, History, Humanistic Informatics, Nordic Languages and Literature, and Art and Theatre - will contribute to the programme, financed with $ 1.5 million from the Faculty of the Humanities and directed by Klaus Bruhn Jensen from the University's Department of Film and Media Studies.

Research professors, Ph. D. students, and associated researchers will examine, among others, the following issues:

  • Visual theory
  • History of visual media
  • Visual media in society
  • Visual cognition
  • Historical imaging
  • Images in computer media.

The research programme may be contacted at visuals@coco.ihi.ku.dk

More information is available through its website: http://coco.ihi.ku.dk/~visuals/index.html

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The Banff Centre: 1997-98 Call for Proposals

The Banff Centre, Canada's leading learning centre for experienced artists and managers seeking continuing professional development, focuses on understanding and fostering creativity, encouraging artistic exploration and growth, and inspiring corporate cultures that demand and deliver sustained innovation. This year-round continuing education facility serves as a site and catalyst for creative activity and experience, offering committed artists a supportive, varied and multidisciplinary environment in which to further their creative and technical development. Artists are encouraged to draw inspiration and creative energy from their peers, explore traditions, media and practices, and revitalize and broaden their artistic visions and work.

The Centre engages in three main types of activities:

  • Research and Experimentation Programmes and projects, which give artists opportunities to engage in experimentation, research and the creation of new work;
  • Professional Practice Programmes, which enable advanced artists to experience professional development and enhance their careers through the "doing" of their art in residencies for extended periods of time;
  • Training Activities, which enable participants to upgrade and expand their individual skills and knowledge in specific arts and arts-related areas. These Programmes tend to be short-term or one-time offerings.

The Centre's programmes are grouped into broad disciplinary categories covering Media and Visual Arts, Music and Sound, Theatre Arts (including Dance, Drama, 20th Century Opera and Song, and Theatre Production), Design and Stage Management, Writing and Publishing (including Writing with Style and Arts Journalism), Aboriginal Arts (Aboriginal Screenwriters Workshop, Dance Project, Electronic Publishing and Arts), and Leighton Studios (for independent residencies). A summer-long Banff Arts Festival includes chamber music, jazz, dance, opera and song, media and visual arts presentations and exhibitions.

As part of the Banff Centre for Continuing Education, the Media and Visual Arts Programme of the Banff Centre for the Arts focuses on professional development and training opportunities for artists and cultural producers in a range of disciplines. The programme supports creative and critical endeavours, providing access to emerging and established technologies in ceramics, digital media, painting, performance, photography, print media, papermaking, sculpture, 16mm film editing, television, video and textiles. Participants include artists, critics, writers, curators, producers, directors, technicians, and researchers, who become involved through diverse activities from extended residencies to weekend workshops. The Banff Centre for the Arts is currently accepting proposals for creative projects within the Media and Visual Arts Programmes for 1997-98, which include the following:

  • Apocalypso Thematic Residency - Application deadline: April 7, 1997. Residency dates: October 6 to December 12, 1997 - As a number of apocalypse narratives are shaping culture at the end of the millennium, Apocalypso offers professional development opportunities to artists exploring contemporary issues and practices.
  • Deep Web Creative Projects - Application deadline: July 15, 1997. Duration: Determined by parameters of individual proposals - The Centre is currently accepting proposals for creative projects that explore various applications of the World Wide Web: artistic, educational, publishing, entertainment, marketing, or the Web as a component of a larger multimedia environment such as CD-ROM, interactive video or virtual reality.
  • Self-directed Creative Residencies - Application deadline: ongoing. Residency dates: May to August, 1997, and January to March, 1998 - Self-directed creative residencies provide time, space and facilities for research, experimentation and production of artworks and ideas in visual art, television and new media.
  • Work/Study Programmes - Application deadline: ongoing. Duration: Varies from one week to two years depending on project requirements - The Media and Visual Arts department offers employment-related work study programmes in arts administration, curatorial practice, media arts and visual arts. These programmes are designed to expand and upgrade creative technicians' and other cultural workers' skills, to increase their employability and to bring new creative knowledge to technical fields.
  • New Works - Application deadline: April 7, 1997. Residency dates: between January 19 and March 27, 1998 - The New Works programme seeks proposals for projects demonstrating imaginative approaches to content, form and technical ability, offering visual and media artists, critics and curators a unique opportunity to use studio space, staff support and technical facilities to produce new works in a variety of media.
  • Television and Interactive Media Co-Productions - Application deadline: ongoing - The Centre encourages proposals from independent producers, broadcasters, distributors and interactive companies for projects that explore emerging digital culture, such as CD-ROM, multimedia, interactive video, Internet, Web, satellite and fibre services.

Established in 1952 as Canada's first institution for the education and professional development of business and government leaders, the Banff Centre for Management assists in building peak performance character by fostering creativity, self-reflection, critical inquiry, experimentation and lifelong learning through a broad spectrum of courses that fall into three main categories:

  • Environmental Programmes,
  • Aboriginal Programmes,
  • Management Programs.

Based primarily on artistic merit and need, the Banff Centre Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to artists participating in many Banff Centre for the Arts programmes, varying by programme and applicant, and covering the costs of fee, room and/or meal plan.

For more information, see http://www.banffcentre.ab.ca

Address: The Banff Centre for the Arts, Box 1020 Station 28, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff, Alberta, Canada T0L 0C0, tel.: 403-762-6180; fax: 403-762-6345; e-mail: arts_info@banffcentre.ab.ca

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Call for Essays and Papers

Triebwerk is an arts and culture monthly based in Vienna, Austria. In the coming year, we would like to develop an editorial focus on culture-related issues in science and technology. Topics will range anywhere from the history of information codes to parthogenesis, from the recycling of human tissue to household gadgets and digital composition.

For this project, we are looking for contributors with a background in science and technology who are willing and able to cast - tabloid-compatible, phenomenological, politically and culturally relevant - light on their fields of research and development. Possible journalistic approaches may range from essay/report formats (6,000 - 10,000 chars) to more experiental, opinion-oriented sections (4,000 - 5,000 chars). Fees are far from extraordinary, but enough to make the effort worthwhile. Submissions can be made in English or German.

Anyone interested in our offer is welcome to contact the editor with a short outline of his/her idea and approach: Triebwerk, Waehringestrasse 59, 1090 Vienna, Austria, tel.: +43/1/401 21 28; fax: +43/1/408 42 51; http://www.t0.or.at/wuk/triebwerk/

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International Cultural Centre - Programmes for 1997

Marking its fifth year of existence with a new organizational structure to accommodate the full complexity of activities undertaken, the International Cultural Centre (ICC) of Cracow has published its annual report, Yearly No. 5, June 1995-May 1996, covering highlights of the year in a detailed diary of activities and informing about programmes realized in its sub-centres, such as the Research Institute of European Heritage, the Centre for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, and the College of New Europe. The section 'Reflections, Impressions, Opinions' includes essays on philosophy, culture and history, complementing and commenting on the Centre's current research and statutory activities. The volume is supplemented by a listing of the ICC's publications, yearbooks, exhibition catalogues, and materials from seminars, symposia and research projects. (For ICC activities, see Culturelink no. 18/April 1996, p. 31.)

A separate, richly illustrated booklet informs about the Centre's main tasks and its active participation in the European dialogue. It also reviews all of the various activities carried out during the past five years, aiming to form and promote a new awareness and attitude towards common European cultural heritage. This is achieved through research work, education, promotion of art, and general information.

The Centre has also announced its plans and objectives for 1997. The ICC is preparing for a considerable extension of its current forms of activity, including, besides international conferences, seminars, publications and exhibitions, also educational and scholarship courses for young academics from all over Europe, the Cracow 2000 programme, and the Festival of Central Europe planned for 1999, as well as the promotion of Polish cultural heritage. The Centre's two research projects are:

  • Architecture of Lvov in the 19th and 20th centuries, reviewing and, for the first time, studying systematically issues relating to the development of town-planning and architecture in the city; and
  • Heritage and Transformation in Central Europe - the Case of Cracow, analyzing heritage protection issues in the period of socio-economic changes in the region, looking at the effects of a free-market economy on the transformation of a historic city, the city's position in the regional transportation network, and tourism as a risk element.

The educational programmes which form part of the College for New Europe include the following:

  • Culture Management (July 10 - 20) - aimed at cultural managers concerned with problems which arise from the economic and political change taking place in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • Basic Social, Cultural and Economic Problems of New Europe (July 14 - 27) - intended to familiarize senior students and young academic workers from European Universities with historic references and current social, cultural and economic problems facing Europe in transition;
  • Geography of Central Europe in History, Politics, Economy and Culture (July 14 - 27) - covering current political and economic problems against the background of the region's history;
  • Democracy and Diversity (July 13 - August 2) - discussing problems of totalitarian and democratic systems and the role of women in the development of culture; and
  • Urban and Landscape Heritage (Polish-Ukrainian Seminar) (September 1 - 7) - aimed at professionals in the field of conservation and protection of cultural property.

Meetings in the form of lectures, seminars and workshops take place daily. The lectures are concerned with new principles for functioning in a changing system, the role and mode of functioning of cultural institutions in current political and social conditions, problems of protecting civil and social human rights related to the democratic achievements of European civilization, and the questions of political and cultural change in Europe.

To obtain the report and programmes, please contact: International Cultural Centre, Rynek Glówny 25, 31-008 Kraków, Poland, tel.: (48 12)21 86 01; fax: (48 12)21 85 71.

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Black Umfolosi Performing Arts Project

Started in 1982 by a group of students with the immediate support of their community, the Black Umfolosi Performing Arts Project is registered with the Ministry of Sport, Recreation and Culture as well as the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, with the aim to:

  • preserve, revive and promote traditions, customs and values in arts and culture through research and continued practice,
  • train artists in various artistic, technical and administrative skills and provide them with the resources necessary for their trade,
  • use the arts in various educational development programmes, promoting cooperation and understanding, employment, creation and economic growth, and
  • through the arts, comment on human rights, women's and children's rights, environmental and other social issues.

This multidisciplinary multimedia project provides artists with training through workshops and seminars, as well as with resources such as rehearsal space, office services and equipment for live shows. It offers consulting, advertisement and communication services, promotion and publicity, and commissions educational plays and other works to address specific campaigns or educational programmes. Collaborations, internships and residencies are offered through cultural exchange, research and study programmes. Currently, a cultural centre is being established to serve as an infrastructural base for the artists, providing them with a training and resource centre, an arts research centre, and a place for cultural exchange.

For more information, please contact: Black Umfolosi Performing Arts Project, Enkundleni Cultural Centre, P.O. Box 673, 43 G/Silundika St., Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, tel.: (263 9) 77409, 72728, 66673; fax: (263 9) 65016;
or their international office at: World Circuit Arts, 309a Aberdeen House, 22 Highbury Grove, London N5 2EA, United Kingdom, tel.: 44 (0)171 354 3030; fax: 44 (0)171 354 8404.

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Strokes of Genius .... Contemporary Iraqi Artists

Strokes of Genius .... Contemporary Iraqi Artists is the title of a book on Iraqi art that will be published as a consequence of a project that is currently under way. It will be an asset to the Iraqi community, but it also has the capacity to benefit the international community as a valuable contribution to the art world.

The success of this project will not only bring together outstanding achievements of some of the world's most talented yet relatively unknown artists but will also reflect the creative energies of the Iraqi people, whose roots stretch far beyond the beginning of history.

Therefore, everyone is invited to assist with the project - be it by supplying more names and addresses of Iraqi artists or any other relevant information, contacts and suggestions that could benefit the project or by making a financial contribution to help with the basic costs.

For additional information, please contact: Maysaloun Faraj, Artist/Project Organizer, 'Strokes of Genius...', P.O.Box 10846, London, SW6 6ZG, United Kingdom, tel./fax: 0171 381 2722.

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The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University

The Chronicle 1997

The Chronicle is the annual publication of the Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University. It carries information on the courses, seminars and workshops for the current year and the highlights of last year's gatherings.

The Summer University is an international meeting place for professionals, artists and academics in search of new approaches in their fields and inspiration from related disciplines. The 1997 season will run from June to September. Courses, seminars and workshops vary in duration from three days to four weeks. Thanks to a new affiliation with the Universiteit Maastricht, a series of new summer courses will be offered. The following are planned for 1997: Arts, Art History, Cultural Analysis/Literature, Language Studies, Management, Culture, Politics and Society, Law, Economics, Media Studies, Environmental Science, Medicine/Health Sciences. The international expertise and reputation of educational and cultural institutions in Maastricht are sure to prove a valuable bonus to the whole curriculum.

The deadline for applications is 1 June 1997.

To obtain the publication and to register, please contact: The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University, P. O. Box 53066, 1007 RB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tel.: +31 20 620 0225; fax: +31 20 624 9368; e-mail: asu@gn.apc.org

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ARSEC Professional Training Courses

In response to a growing demand for specialized training, the French Ministry of Culture is offering a new programme of professional training courses throughout 1997. Conceived by the Département des Affaires Internationales and the Délégation au Développement et aux Formations, the programme is organized around five two-week thematic seminars covering:

  • Management of Architectural and Urban Patrimony in France,
  • Organizing the Work and Conducting Projects in Libraries,
  • Cultural Development and Management of Cultural Projects,
  • Cultural Policies and their Administration, and
  • Financing the Cultural Economy.

The programme aims to train professionals responsible for cultural life in different countries around the world, by explaining the necessary tools for the conception, management and strategic analysis of cultural policies. It also presents French experiences in the field and provides a basis for new partnerships.

All courses are planned for the autumn of 1997, except for the first one, concerned with architecture, which will take place in April 1997.

For more information, please contact: ARSEC - Agence Rhône - Alpes de Services aux Entreprises Culturelles, 8 Rue du Griffon, 69001 Lyon, France, tel.: (33 4) 78 39 01 05; fax: (33 4) 78 28 98 22.

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The European Summer Academy for Culture and Management

The European Summer Academy for Culture and Management will be held for the third time in Salzburg in 1997. (See Culturelink nos. 18/April 1996, p. 33 and 15/April 1995, p. 43.) It will rely on three years of experience made during the Compact Course in Arts and Management (1992-1994). Twenty-one arts projects will be selected from the whole of Europe, and the Academy will serve as a meeting place for the exchange of practical experience and information on arts subjects. It is organized in cooperation with KulturKontakt - Vienna by the International Centre for Culture and Management.

This training programme is intended for arts managers from the whole of Europe who are at present starting new projects in the following fields:

  • festivals and cultural organizations dealing with a variety of arts subjects
  • music and music-theatre
  • film/new media.

The European Arts Project Workshop will be complemented by lectures, seminars and discussions.

Selected participants from the new democracies will receive full scholarships from KulturKontakt.

For further information, please contact: Mr. Gerhard Spitz, International Centre for Culture and Management, Jakob Haringerstrasse 5A, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria, tel.: 0662/459 841; fax: 0662/459 838.

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The Programme of the Mass Media Centre

School of Journalism, St. Petersburg State University


The main areas of activities are the following:

  1. Education in 'Journalism' at the level of the second University Diploma.
  2. System of complex training through short-term courses:
    • Anchor of Radio and TV Programmes;
    • Head of Press Service;
    • Press-Officer;
    • Computer layout and design.
  3. Preliminary Courses for University applicants in the Humanities.
  4. 'Small School of Journalism' for professional orientation of applicants in the School of Journalism.
  5. PR Centre:
    • Popularisation of University education;
    • Complex Advertising Service;
    • Marketing Research.
  6. International Activities:
    • Research and Educational Programmes with Foreign Partners;
    • Research of Mass Media Market and Audience Ratings Data in Russia for Foreign Partners;
    • Grants;
    • International Summer School on Russian Media.
  7. Centre of Journalism Research.
  8. Video Group.
  9. Environmental Programme.

The Mass Media Centre invites foreign citizens, holders of University Diplomas and Degrees, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students, to come to study journalism at St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Daytime and evening courses. Duration: 2 years for daytime students, 2.5 years for evening students.

The programme covers journalistic skills, techniques of journalistic production, computer layout and design, advertising, electronic journalism. Classes are based on the experience of Russian and international journalism.

The course of studies consists of lectures, creative internship, defence of the graduation thesis, successful completion of graduation examinations.

The Diploma of St. Petersburg State University on mid-career training can be obtained after the first year of education. The University High Education (Master's) Diploma in 'Journalism' is available after the second year of education to persons who had previously completed University Education (B.A. degree holders).

Admission: on the basis of an interview. Language of instruction: Russian. Tuition fee: 1,600 USD for foreign citizens.

* * *

The Mass Media Centre announces the following short-term courses:

  • Anchor of Radio and TV Programmes;
  • Specialist in Advertising and Public Relations;
  • Computer layout and design.

Tuition fee: 500-800 USD.
Duration: 3-4 months.

Journalism Research Centre

The Journalism Research Centre has been established within the Mass Media Centre to implement research projects in journalism, give practical assistance to the mass media staff in journalism research, provide consulting, methodological and practical services in scientific research.

The Centre services journalists, advertising agencies, press services, information agencies, research companies.

Research and consulting services are offered in the following areas:

  • Study of target and potential mass media audiences. Definition of audiences: social portrait, interests, consumer characteristics. Assessment of the mass media information effectiveness.
  • Analysis of the mass media language: linguistic and psycholinguistic research. Analysis and expert assessment of the audio and video media and the press.
  • Study of mass media types: different mass media types defined through the study of their activities in regard to the audience (total, potential, target), advertisers, published information.
  • Creation of new systems for the organization of the mass media production. Elaboration of graphic composition models for publications, forms of audio and video presentation.
  • Study of advertisers: ways to attract them; motives for the selection of advertising channels.
  • Elaboration of effective methods for conducting different advertising and PR events. Research of advertising efficiency for groups of products and services.
  • Study of foreign mass media experiences, analysis and recommendations for their adaptation.
  • Study of creative teams: optimization of operation in publishing houses, press services, information agencies - management style, personnel management, creativity stimulation, psychological compatibility, assessment of a journalist's creative potential.
  • Consulting on sociological, psychological and marketing research for the mass media, on elaboration of research projects in the sphere of mass media and advertising events.
  • Creation of scenarios, preparation of shows and exhibitions.

Address: Mass Media Centre, School of Journalism, St.Petersburg State University, Room 606, 1 Liniya V.O., Dom 26, St.Petersburg, 199034 Russia, tel./fax: (7-812) 213 00 67; e-mail: konst@comp.jur.pu.ru or ruschin@mmc.jur.pu.ru