Online news sites and social media in Russia are emerging at present. Their convergence constructs a type of media system that helps overcome the disconnected character of traditional media. Audiences of social networks have an opportunity to reply to the agenda set by online media. As a result, a new digital public sphere is created and cyber democracy is developed. In my article, I explore the infrastructure of such media and their specific characteristics on Runet. I argue that while social media in some other countries promote social and political activism offline, as in the recent revolutions in Arab countries, the quality of the digital public sphere on Runet is poor. Russian audiences are passive and not involved in the discussion of the most important public questions presented by online news sites; instead, users mechanically disseminate news through social media platforms. This new digital media system has characteristics of traditional media, where leading positions are taken by state-controlled online news sites, disseminating transmedia state-storytelling among passive audiences of social networks.
Language of contribution: Russian