Professional journalistic speech in the media environment

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The research deals with one of the most important topics in the field of studying Russian as a foreign language - the diversity of the Russian language media environment. The purpose of the study is to determine its status in Russian-speaking media environment professional journalistic speech, that is its communicative status. The work analyses Russian-language publications of the traditional print press, radio, television, and materials presented in the communicative environment of the Internet: sites of various publishing houses, publics on social networks, blogs, etc. The paper is based on descriptive and comparative analysis. For the first time the content of the concept professional journalistic speech is revealed in the linguistic aspect. The main feature defining the ontology of media speech is the utility - direct involvement in general social life. Media text in its existence is always associated with the time of its publication, has specific coordinates of the social space-time, is created for here and for now. It is this feature of media speech that determines all its lexical and grammatical parameters. The media environment is presented as a space for everyday social communication. It is accompanied by the communicative space of everyday interpersonal communication - conversational speech. The latter thanks to Internet communication technologies actively invades the media speech space. Media speech actively interacts with colloquial speech. The research has shown that professional journalistic speech has always been a systemic element of the media environment, which manifests itself in a wide variety of forms. Numerous private enterprises are adapting professional journalistic speech products to their needs. The media communication environment is open, and in its borders, the printed form of colloquial speech is emerging. The space of non-professional media speech is also emerging - certain types of blogs, news feed “Yandex-Zen”. In the media sphere, the share of oral speech is constantly increasing. Because of the general trend towards personalization of the general information and analytical stream, the volume of author broadcasting increases. In this situation professional oral journalism requires special attention in the aspect of its non-verbal components of communication. Specialization in author broadcasting needs the technology of teaching Russian oral speech with increased attention to non-verbal components that have a pronounced national identity. The research prospects are primarily associated with dynamically developing local Russian-language speech media systems as verbal and polycode, as their composition is constantly being updated.

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The term professional journalistic speech is not introduced here as a commonly used nomination from the field of journalism. Its conceptual content is determined in the aspect of media linguistics: it is relevant, diverse in subject matter, ideologically directed influencing speech of a journalist, formed with a focus on a mass audience or any segment of it and built in accordance with the speech concept of a certain publication.

The question of what is the communicative status of professional journalistic speech in the Russian-speaking media environment does not have a traditional research history. Its acute relevance has been clearly identified only recently in connection with the emergence and rapid development of the communicative environment of the Internet. A sharp decrease in the number and circulation of printed publications and a simultaneous increase in the number of non-professional speech subjects in public communication led to the feeling that the value of information does not depend on the verbal professionalism of the author and that anyone who owns valuable information can be equated with a professional journalist. The authors tried to show that the evidence and validity of such judgments are more than doubtful.

The view of the professional speech of a journalist is changing primarily because we are facing media sphere reformatting. Terms media, new media are pushing the nomination mass media to the periphery. Let us pay attention to the fundamentally important judgments concerning the status of professional speech of a journalist in the Russian-speaking media environment.

Before the Internet with its new technological capabilities, the communicative environment of traditional media (print media, radio, television) was almost completely represented by professional journalistic speech, which was interpreted as a journalistic style in its two varieties – newspaper-informational and proper journalistic style (Solganik, 2003: 312). The other style inclusions were motivated by a specific stylistic task.

The journalistic style is particularly closely related to the colloquial style, from which it borrows visual and expressive means, specific strategies and tactics of speech behaviour, etc. (Rogova, 2018).

By now, due to a new communicative environment – the Internet – the situation has changed dramatically. Traditional publications have their own websites. There are publications that function only in the communicative environment of the Internet. There are network collective and individual subjects of speech activity, whose internal nature and functionality, on the one hand, are comparable in terms of impact on the audience with traditional media; on the other hand, they are fundamentally different from them in terms of speech behaviour, the nature of interaction with the audience: public pages (publics) in social networks, accounts in social networks and messengers, blogs, etc.

These network media, competing with traditional media, primarily fill the niches in communicating with the audience that, for various reasons, remain out of the view of traditional media. Thus, K.R. Nigmatullina, analyzing the place of social networks in developing regional journalism in Russia, says that network media, which are new and significant sources of information, have acquired the status of influential channels of political communication in forming local communities focused on the reader. “News media in social networks,” the author believes, “have created a competitive environment for traditional media, but the latter do not recognize the existence of this competition” (Nigmatullina, 2021: 45). Despite the contradictions between network and traditional media, the researchers believe that the standards of professional journalistic activity still serve as a guide in their work: “Over time, it became clear that publics, which regularly contact the audience about socially significant topics, adopt the structure of professional media and professional practices. They are forced to respond to the current information agenda, take into account the alignment of political and media forces in the region, hire good authors and focus on the legislative regulation of information activities on the Internet” (Nigmatullina, 2021: 45–46).

To other researchers, the current situation appears in a different form. E.A. Kozhemyakin and A.A. Popov, analyzing a journalistic blog, see it as “one of the essential sources of information that compete with traditional journalism” (Kozhemyakin, Popov, 2012: 148). Moreover, a global conclusion is made that “the media text ceases to be the final product” and that “being a journalist in the Internet era means creating not texts, but communication.” Such a sharp decline in the status of professional journalistic speech does not look convincing. The authors attribute exclusively to the blog such features that are characteristic of traditional journalistic texts: multimediality, polycode nature, the possibility of clarifying, complementing, correcting the text. As an example, we can point to the concept of a continuous news message, which characterizes the work on the text in traditional news agencies (Lashchuk, 2013: 213–232).

We see that the status of professional journalistic speech has ceased to be obvious and ranges from understanding the inviolability of its system-forming role in the media and the Internet to considering this type of speech as something archaic, increasingly losing touch with modernity. This uncertainty is also reinforced by the lack of a clear understanding of the content of the words with the root media-: mediality, media, media speech, etc.

Let us consider how the idea of mediality is understood in the collective project “Media Linguistics in terms and concepts: Reference dictionary.” The project manager and scientific editor of the reference dictionary is L.R. Duskaeva (2018). The reference dictionary is a collection of author’s works interpreting the content of the basic concepts in media linguistics. In the future, quotations from the reference dictionary are given with an indication of the author of a particular article.

S.G. Korkonosenko, a specialist in the field of journalism theory, notes the ambiguity of the term media and says that “in the research literature and professional speech, media is more often used in an expanded interpretation as a set of all technological means of communication that serve to transmit an information message in the form of text, music, images, etc.” (Korkonosenko, 2018b: 53). The nomination is interpreted by pointing to a variety of relevant subjects of communication: “The word ‘mass media’ is filled with an even more specific meaning,” the author continues, “by which we mean newspapers, magazines, radio and TV channels, network publications aimed at a large anonymous audience” (Korkonosenko, 2018b: 54). The question of the degree of orientation of modern media to professional journalistic speech remains open, although in another article devoted to mass communication, S.G. Korkonosenko states the fact that in the modern situation, elements inherent in interpersonal communication penetrate into mass communication: “The development of digital information and communication technologies leads to softening and levelling differences in roles and forms of participating in mass communication, the boundaries between mass communication and personal communication are becoming less defined. The Internet in general and mobile communication means in particular enable a private person to address a wide mass of users and, if desired, overcome the vice of anonymity” (Korkonosenko, 2018a: 52).

The linguistic approach to media seems to be more fruitful. Thus, L.R. Duskaeva, speaking about the concept of media through the category of media discourse, writes: “The linguistic properties of media discourse reflect the features of information-influencing activities in the media carried out by professionals whose task is to process primary information obtained in various ways, discarding unimportant ones. The selected information is used to create new media texts in accordance with the communicative task (journalistic, advertising, image-forming), with the technological capabilities of the channel where the messages will be broadcasted, and taking into account the anticipated reaction of the audience to the text” (Duskaeva, 2018: 55). Here we get an idea of the basic components of media discourse (journalism, PR and advertising) and the system-forming role of professional journalistic speech, because only professionals are prepared to solve these tasks.

However, some researchers also include in the sphere of media the speech of ordinary citizens, native speakers of the Russian language, who do not have a special journalistic education. This phenomenon occurs, for example, in social network media, that is, in social networks, blogs, forums, photo and video hosting, messengers, etc. (Samsonova, 2018: 414). The genres of network communication specify the nature of their authorship, where the main role is played not by a speech professional, but by an ordinary member of society, a representative of a mass audience. Kulazhko speaks about such genres as a post, like, repost, comment, blog (Kulazhko, 2018).

We see that the authors of the “Media Linguistics” project, on the one hand, consider professional journalistic speech to be the basis of the media communicative environment; on the other hand, they include speech components of colloquial origin in the media environment.

We see approximately the same picture in other researches. Thus, N.I. Klushina writes in the monograph “Media Journalism:” “For us, media discourse is a set of texts created by journalists and broadcast to the mass audience through various media channels (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the Internet). Media discourse can also be represented as part of a social space filled with relevant journalistic texts. These are texts on any topic created by professional journalists and designed for a mass addressee, circulating in a certain media space: on the newspaper page, on television, on the Internet, etc.” (Klushina, 2018: 31). But two years later, in the textbook “Introduction to Internet Stylistics” (N.I. Klushina, A.V. Nikolaeva), we see that the concept of media content also applies to non-journalistic texts on the Internet, including those in social networks: “So far, the media content in TikTok is as light and playful as possible. It is impossible to immediately replace cats and funny sketches with serious news or analytics. But it is already clear that the media will try to create a loyal community in TikTok” (Klushina, Nikolaeva, 2020: 208).

The purpose of the study – within the framework of the situation outlined above, we set a goal to determine the specifics of the communicative status of professional journalistic speech in the Russian-speaking media environment. To do this, it is also necessary to describe the content of the media category. An important task in the current conditions is to identify the features of interaction between the media and conversational spheres of communication.

Methods and materials

The work is based on descriptive and comparative analysis of the materials from the modern printed press, radio, television, various Internet resources – sites of traditional and online publications, publications in social networks, accounts in social networks and messengers, various types of blogs, podcasts, etc.


The analysis of the communicative status of professional journalistic speech in the Russian-speaking media environment has shown that this type of media speech is a system-forming one. Many private communication projects, despite their apparent novelty and originality, are secondary in terms of speech, based on professional journalistic materials.

The essential functional features of professional journalistic speech in the media environment are due to its constant and close interaction with spoken speech. Both are directly included in the general practical life of society, tied to the exact social space and time, created for the here and now. The difference is in the spheres of functioning. Conversational speech is a sphere of everyday life, everyday interpersonal communication. The sphere of media speech, including professional journalistic speech, is the everyday communication of society. Collective and individual subjects of speech are here the subjects of the society social structure.

In media speech in general, and in professional journalistic speech in particular, the percent of multichannel oral speech is growing. This process is accompanied by information visualization and personalization of the whole information and analytical flow. Professional journalistic speech is also a system-forming one here.


To determine the communicative status of professional journalistic speech in the Russian-speaking media environment, it is necessary first of all to determine the content of the concept of media speech. Numerous attempts to determine it do not affect the essential, ontological characteristics of the media, but are based on secondary features related to modern technological features of communication, genre aspect, special relations with the audience, etc.

M.Y. Kazak define the media as “the embodiment of the text using those or other media, the determination of the aspect and the technical capacity of the channel” (Kazak, 2011: 323).

T.G. Dobrosklonskaya says that “the concept of media beyond signs of verbal level is approaching the semiotic interpretation of the concept of ‘text’, which means any sequence, not just verbal signs” (Dobrosklonskaya, 2005: 29).

N.I. Klushina and A.V. Nikolaeva, speaking about the media text, pay attention to the sphere of its functioning (mass communication) and “technological features of the media platform on which it exists (extralinguistic features)” (Klushina, Nikolaeva, 2020: 33).

All the features identified by the researchers are really inherent in media texts and, accordingly, media speech. However, they do not determine their ontology. In our opinion, which we have previously presented in a number of publications, the ontological basis of media in all its varieties (journalism, advertising, PR, etc.) is direct involvement in the general practical activity of a person. We call this functional feature of the media text (media speech) utilitarianism. Inevitably, ideologically oriented journalistic products (printed publications, radio and television programs), advertising, materials from the field of PR and GR – all this is tied to a specific social space and time, to a specific place and a specific date.

It is this feature that brings the sphere of media speech closer to the sphere of colloquial speech, which is always an integral part of general practical activity in everyday interpersonal communication.

It is interesting that T. van Dijk, analyzing the news discourse, introduces the concept of a communicative event, but at the same time the category of space-time, an integral form of the existence of an event, is not affected by it (Dijk, 1988).

It is no coincidence that specialists studying spoken language sometimes expand the concept of speech material designated by this term by including oral public media speech in the sphere of colloquialism. Thus, V.V. Khimik wrote: “Public oral and colloquial speech is regulated communication in official situations, official conversations, official conversations with officials, popular and scientific lectures, seminars and reports, speeches and genre conversational broadcasts of radio and television. Public colloquial speech presupposes a certain normative strictness, certain restrictions in the choice of functional and stylistic means of language, restraint in the use of colloquial expressive units and, as a rule, the inadmissibility of non-standard, and certainly rude, vulgar, slang words and expressions for communicative reasons” (Khimik, 2014: 59).

It is utilitarianism that explains all the main lexical and grammatical features of printed media speech: orientation to a mass audience, to the possibility of guaranteed reading of the text on the first attempt; attention to the length of the phrase; special techniques for constructing a sentence that tells the news. It requires knowledge of the specifics of working with abbreviations, special vocabulary, foreign words, names of companies, organizations, names of people, job titles, etc. It requires knowledge of the compositional and speech features of media texts of various genres, the ability to form a text presentation system, organically combining verbal and non-verbal sign systems into one. It is necessary to master the methods of presenting information in accordance with the requirements of the ideological system that a particular publication represents. All this requires special professional speech training. Only a person who possesses all the designated skills and abilities is able to perform the tasks facing a particular media publication, due to the life context of which the publication itself is a part.

Regardless of the communicative environment in which a media publication operates, its speech basis will be professional journalistic speech.

As for the representatives of the audience to which the publication is addressed, they, wishing to express their attitude and evaluate the published, feel themselves in their everyday communicative space of interpersonal communication, which is now expanding for them thanks to the opportunity of leaving their comments. The user in the media speech space in such a comment realizes his speech potential, previously limited by the traditional sphere of everyday interpersonal communication.

So, on 30.06.2021 on the service “Pulse” of the company “” the article “6 photos of an awesome underground hotel in an abandoned quarry in Shanghai”1 was published.

Since the service, as stated in the “User Agreement”, “provides an authorized user on any of the services Mail.Ru the possibility to post comments on the information available on the Service,”2 then users left the following comments on the publication: Elsa Abdulina: Awesome! Well done!; Alexey Generalov: Yes, it’s great; Svetlana Yakunina: That’s super!!! FOOL ME!!!

We see that thanks to the technical capabilities of the Internet, a zone of coexistence of professional journalistic media speech and colloquial speech is formed in the media environment. A printed version of colloquial speech is formed. But at the same time, the professional speech of a journalist remains a professional speech. And the user’s spoken speech remains spoken speech.

There is also a widespread phenomenon that the user takes a ready-made media text and adapts it to his audience (usually young people). Such projects are often of a commercial nature. Here is an example: Expresso3 – newsletter by Olya Morozova about what is happening in the world, why it is happening and what she thinks about it. The author understands the essence of her project this way: ...newsletter is any newsletter on any topic. This can be a weekly selection of the most popular articles of a website, or an author’s newsletter that tells with a certain frequency about news in a particular area (finance, technology, games, social media, fashion), or, for example, an entertaining newsletter with the funniest videos, pictures and quotes.

The author does not deny the secondary nature of her text: The main charm of all this is that someone has already done all the dirty work and has chosen the most important, interesting, popular and funny things. Good newsletters are extremely valuable: they save time and nerves of their readers. Many readers are tired of the endless flow of information, and something completed in the mailbox calms and brings a little order to the surrounding chaos. The user opens the letter, he knows that it is not spam, he has subscribed to this newsletter himself, he knows what it is about, maybe he is even waiting for it, and most importantly, he knows that it has an end. The reader agrees with the author of the project: The Expresso Newsletter was a discovery for me. There is too much husk in social networks, and there is simply no time to read well-known news resources. Expresso is another matter — it will tell you briefly, concisely and, most importantly, interestingly about important world events. Just what I need.

The newsletter’s speech material is secondary, the author’s contribution is insignificant, the speech clearly does not reach the professional level:

Slowly, but surely, mandatory vaccination is covering Russia, which is not exactly mandatory, but if you are not vaccinated, then your life will be boring and poor. From indicative news: Moscow hospitals will refuse planned hospitalization to the unvaccinated, in the Nizhny Novgorod region those wishing to marry were obliged to get vaccinated or take a PCR test for admission to marriage (Kommersant) and the Ministry of Labour said that unvaccinated workers cannot be dismissed, but they can be suspended from work without pay.

Listen, vaccination is not bad. The bad thing is that the Kremlin has already said so many times that it almost won covid, that the Russian Federation is almost in the first place in terms of vaccination rates, that vaccination is a personal matter for everyone and no one is going to force anyone. I understand that the delta variant is more contagious and no one expected it, but this dissonance and the methods by which they solve the problem only worsen the perception of what is happening4.

Here is a hypertext containing several links to the primary author’s publications. The contribution of the newsletter is various evaluative and expressive means, as well as a phatic component that allows forming psychologically close relationships with the reader that are impossible in the official press.

It follows from the above that we must distinguish the use of the word media, on the one hand, as a nomination intended to designate a new technological communication platform with speech products of various origins, functional purposes and properties. On the other hand, the word media acts as a nomination for a type of speech with utilitarianism as its distinctive feature, professional involvement in the general practical activities of society.

Of course, the situations of borderline coexistence on the same technological platform of professional journalistic speech and user’s speech are numerous, diverse, there is much individual in them. In some cases, the user’s speech in individual posts, comments, blogs is more or less close to professional speech in terms of its qualities. As an example, we can give the news feed “Yandex-zen”. But in any case, we can state the fact that it is the professional speech of a journalist that is the basis of the speech in the media sphere, its system centre.

The oral form of professional journalistic speech requires a special approach. Its specific significance in the speech practice of the media is constantly increasing. Its communicative status is also increasing. This is a global process that has deep social roots. V.V. Khimik writes in the preface to the “Big Dictionary of Russian Colloquial Expressive Speech” that “by the beginning of the 21st century in the Russian cultural and linguistic space there was a ‘change in the normative basis of the literary language:’ the normative significance of the written language of fiction began to give way to oral speech of public channels of national communication. In practice, this means that gradually the language community began to orientate in its idea of speech ideals and standards not on the exemplary language of Russian writers, ‘lords of thoughts,’ as it was in the XIX century and partly in the first half of the twentieth century, but on the sounding public speech of the mass media” (Khimik, 2004: 5–6).

The coexistence of professional journalistic speech and user’s speech, which inevitably leads to their interaction, is especially challenging when we are dealing with the oral form of speech on television, radio, YouTube channels, etc.

One of the main tasks of audiovisual journalism is the professional sound-visual presentation of information. Even in the case when the viewer sees a life on the screen (a fragment of what is really happening in front of the camera, without comments), this fragment is selected by a journalist with the help of technical means for the most accurate presentation of information.

The oral speech of a journalist, like any media entrepreneur, exists in order to be necessarily heard and realized by the audience. The journalist intentionally forms the text taking into account the convenience of its utterance, selects the most effective expressive means, which gives his speech a more or less forced character. We can say that the sounding media speech has an increased measure of conditionality compared to ordinary everyday speech. All this explains the existence of special requirements for journalists working with oral speech.

In addition to profound training in the field of orthoepy, stylistics, rhetoric, the professional pays special attention to the skills of non-verbal communication. Nonverbal communication becomes especially relevant in the situation of active inclusion of colloquial elements in the professional speech of a journalist. This process represents a certain risk, since the inclusion of elements of everyday communication violates the normative structure of professional speech. In the Soviet period, radio and television speech was a model of the Russian literary language as the state language both on the verbal and non-verbal level (the corresponding general structure of the phrase, syntagmatic division, articulatory and intonational embodiment). Violation of the canons of television and radio sounding text spoke of an undesirable decrease in the level of speech culture.

Today, when the trend towards differentiation and personification of the general information and analytical flow is dominating, we observe the emergence of new author’s original speech handwriting in the field of oral professional journalistic speech. On the one hand, the uniqueness of each of them is due to a varying degree of “violation” of the requirements that were previously imposed on official oral radio and television speech. On the other hand, and this is more important, there is an intensification of the use of non-verbal components of speech, and among them, first of all, those that have an increased degree of emotionality.

The means of nonverbal communication that a media speech professional should possess (use and control) are divided into two groups. Visual ones are facial expressions, look, gestures, in general, the plastic behaviour of the speaker, his location in space, movements. Sound is an intonation means in all its diversity. Nonverbal means are full-fledged elements of communication, reinforcing, refuting, and in some cases replacing verbal means.

Facial expressions and eye contact are formed in the area of the face, they transmit the internal state of the speaker and relate more to the field of psychology, therefore they remain outside our attention, as well as the appearance of the speaker.

Professional oral media speech differs from ordinary oral speech by a full-fledged possession of non-verbal tools. We can just compare, for example, on the one hand, the speech of representatives of the author’s television, such as D. Kulikov, N. Mikhalkov, V. Solovyov, M. Simonyan, and on the other hand, the speech of representatives of the political opposition presented in the media environment, who receive a high communicative status due not so much to their speech merits as to the specifics of their political position: K. Sobchak, V. Solovey, G. Yavlinsky, etc.

The above-mentioned facts suggest that the speech training of future journalists, those who are preparing to work in a personalized Russian-language television discourse, as well as to work with a live audience, requires additional oral speech courses focused on non-verbal communication, organically connected with the word.

When teaching the elements of non-verbal communication, it is possible and necessary to use the experience gained in the field of stage speech training. Thus, it was found that the viewer, listening to the host of the program, first of all pays attention to the appearance of the speaker, the nature of his movements, plastic behaviour, location in space. All these nonverbal components of communication can both refute the meaning of the spoken words, and, conversely, help the speaker to enter the desired communicative state corresponding to the spoken words.

The theory of movement as an element of nonverbal communication was developed by V.E. Meyerhold, a Soviet theatre and film director. The director put movement as the basis of his acting technique of biomechanics: “All ‘experiences’ arise from its process – with the same relaxed ease and persuasiveness with which a thrown ball falls to the ground. One splash of hands solves the plausibility of the most difficult interjection ‘ah’, which is vainly forced out by ‘survivors’ who replace it with impotent sighs... movement gives rise to an exclamation and a word.”5

Thus, according to Meyerhold, it is the movement that forms the necessary emotion, which materializes in the sounding word. This provision is also applicable to journalistic screen practice. In the frame, a person appears in a specially constructed space (the operator builds the composition of the frame, the journalist fits into it), and his existence (speech, plastic) is realized and subordinated to the task of building a plastic dialogue with the viewer. We are talking about the communicative work of the journalist’s body, about the interaction of conscious and meaningful movement, gestures and speech. Excessive gesticulation can make speech convincing, but it can also irritate and alienate the interlocutor. Restrained gestures can also make speech alienated, at the same time, an accurate one-time gesture can become a capacious expression of the statement essence.

The predominance of gestures of a particular group in the speech of a journalist (illustrative, expressive, regulating gestures, a request to speak, a demand to stop, gestures of self-adaptation) emphasizes his individuality (Cozzolino, 2003: 111–114).

We would supplement M. Cozzolino’s classification of gestures with one more type of gestures that should also be taught to future journalists – dramatic gestures. The term dramatization refers to the theatrical art, where it indicates the aggravation of the collision of the opposing sides. But dramatization is also characteristic of media discourse. Researchers tell, for example, about the inevitable dramatization in the sequence of messages about events (Barabash, Chekunova, 2017: 69). Accordingly, the journalist, in order to give credibility to his report, seeks to make it spectacular, using dramatic gestures, drawing something related to the subject of discussion in the air. As an example, we give one of the most popular programs of St. Petersburg television.

“Pulse of the City” is an informational and journalistic program that tells about bright, significant political, cultural, social events in St. Petersburg. The host of the program, Yuri Zinchuk, is a representative of the Leningrad school of television, which is characterized by a combination of an extremely mature orthoepic norm with a continuous search for expressive diversity. Let us look at the correlation between the verbal and non-verbal plastic component in the work of the presenter (Table).6

The presenter’s speech


We are starting, of course, with the main news of this week,

He is holding the sheets in his hand, looking at them carefully

absolutely unexpectedly, we found out about it,

He takes his eyes off the sheets, looks directly at the camera

I do not know,

He spreads his hands wide

how harshly it is,

He leans on the table with one hand, bends the other, leans on his elbow

But this news

Movement of the right hand downwards
(on the emphasized word)


A sharp movement of the right hand forward (on the emphasized word)

many representatives of the business and political elite. So, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov announced the cancellation of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

He clenches his fist and sits down smoothly

in June.

He spreads his hands in front of him

The official reason is the coronavirus epidemic.

An even position of the body, the elbows are pressed against the body. The body moves forward (on the emphasized word)

This is important, even if not the most joyful news. And it is relevant not only for the elites, but also for us,

Throws the clenched hands forward, puts the hands together, raises and lowers the folded hands (on the emphasized words)

for all Petersburgers.

He spreads his hands

Because it is this forum

Rhythmically strikes the air with his hand
(on the emphasized words)

that once a year gives the main platform for signing

He squeezes the pen in his hand

the most important projects, contracts, agreements that change our city.

Rhythmically strikes the air with his hand
(on the emphasized words)

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is that high place from where international Russian investors see our city.

Motionless, facing each other, percussive movements with the hands (on the emphasized words)

This is that showcase,

He turns his palms to himself, spreads his hands in front of him, indicating the surface

where we show: here it is, our Petersburg, come to us, invest in us,

The arms are spread, the palms are turned to themselves. Rhythmic movements with open palms on the camera

make our city better. And now none of this will happen.

Covers the table with his hands, leans on the left and right edges of the table

The speech of the presenter has a high tempo. Rhythmic low-amplitude movements with folded or spread hands perform illustrative and expressive functions. But on the whole, several supporting, meaning-forming, dramatizing movements can be distinguished.

A sharp movement of the right hand on the camera (shocked) is an unexpected “frontal” gesture.

He spreads his hands in front of him (this is the showcase) – indicates the surface of the showcase in an empty space.

Hands are spread, palms are turned to themselves, rhythmic movements with open palms on the camera (here it is, our Petersburg, come to us, invest in us) – an open gesture of an offer.

Covers the table with his hands, leans on the left and right edges of the table (make our city better. And now none of this will happen) – the stationary position of the body contrasts with the previous bright wide movements.

The meaning of dramatizing gestures is the desire to depict an imaginary object in an empty space, to visualize an emotion. These gestures are addressed to the viewer’s sensory sphere, to his imagination, which increases the degree of emotional involvement of the audience in the journalist’s speech and makes them like-minded.

The intonation of the presenter is characterized by the combination of several phrases on one exhalation without a break in the sound and a sharp change in tone on multiple emphatic accents. At the same time, a violation of the melodic rule of the Russian speech is replicated, when the tone of the voice decreases at the end of the phrase and thereby indicates the completion of the utterance. Yu. Zinchuk repeatedly lowers the tone at the intonation centre, takes a break, after which he finishes the phrase. All this can be attributed to the peculiarities of unprepared speech, when the speaker is guided by his state here and now, which is why the utterance is formed spontaneously, with possible deviations from the sound norm. A partial violation of the pronouncing norm carries a certain risk of losing the viewer who has not forgiven the host’s mistake. But at the same time, selective violations are attractive to the audience, it helps to bring the viewer closer to the person in the frame, whose speech, of course, is designed specifically for the real-time communication, but has a recognizable everyday content.

If we look at numerous YouTube channels where the presenter believes that he has created his almost professional channel, if we listen to numerous podcasts where the presenter believes that he has become a media expert,7 then first of all their verbal secondary nature attracts attention. He retells what is already known. People do not like the program as such with its content – it is just that the youth audience likes the host as a person. The psychology of the relationship between the author and the viewer is not from a professional environment, but from interpersonal everyday communication. We are dealing with a situation that we have already outlined earlier. A zone of media colloquialism is created, where colloquialism is presented as such, which has not become an organic part of professional speech.

Professional speech skills are not practically presented here: a speech expert consciously builds speech in accordance with his style concept and controls it. It is an expert who ensures the stability of both the printed and oral speech environment. Numerous authors of YouTube channels, as a rule, own only one spontaneously formed manner of speech behaviour, which the audience may like or not like, but in any case, there is no need to talk about speech professionalism.

The examples presented in the article are not isolated in nature, they present typical communicative phenomena. The analysis shows that, despite the obvious expansion of colloquialism in the media environment, it is professional journalistic speech in the Russian-speaking media environment, both printed and oral, that remains the basis of the media speech system as a whole.


The proposed approach to the study of professional journalistic speech in Russian-speaking media environment seems quite promising, since it draws our attention to new, understudied communicative phenomena in the Internet environment. Media linguistics and media studies are primarily interested in such local communicative formations as various types of blogs, accounts in social networks and messengers, continuous texts on the websites of publications with a comment system, etc. Dynamically developing within a limited time interval, localized in social time and space, closely related to the actual life of society – on the one hand, and the everyday existence of a person – on the other, focused on a particular segment of the audience, they largely form the speech environment of human existence. Here the socialization of the individual takes place, a system of views, tastes, preferences is formed. This speech environment has a distinct national specificity, manifested in both verbal and non-verbal semiotic systems. Learning the Russian language is currently impossible without taking into account the speech specifics of this media segment.


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About the authors

Vladimir I. Konkov

St. Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5353-1014

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Professor of the Department of Media Linguistics, Institute “Higher School of Journalism and Mass Communication”

7-9 Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

Tatiana A. Solomkina

St. Petersburg State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9662-9625

Candidate of Art History, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of TV and Radio Journalism

7-9 Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Konkov V.I., Solomkina T.A.

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