Krasnodar, 3 October – Yug Times. Fresh air is what provincial literature and theatre is really lacking today. A lot of writers and playwrights write knowing that they would hardly be published. The mastery of literature is vanishing – both in fiction and journalism. Vladimir Runov, a well-known Kuban writer and public figure, reasons about how to write novels in modern conditions and what works a reader is presently looking for, what aims mass media should achieve and what problems exist in the preparation of new journalists.
Q.: What is your new book about?
A.: Our Hasty Century – it is a novel about the 20th century, the century in which I was born and lived most of my life. The plot winds up the fates and reflections of different real persons: starting from Sir Winston Churchill and finishing with my friend Kostia Dziakin, aka Vial. Despite any social position, we all live by the same aspiration – we are hurrying somewhere. During the twentieth century, we hurried to meet a new millennium; therefore everything was filled with tension. Calm people were seen as outlaws, people that were abandoned and forgotten.
Q.: Do you follow the current trends in journalism? What is on hype, in your opinion? What differs from how it worked in the past?
A.: What present-day journalists do is pure ‘he said/she said’ journalism. Many young people came to this sphere. And there is a trend that correspondents are losing their craftsmanship. Any literate person may write in the way contemporary young journalists write – or even better than they. Such genres as sketch, newspaper satire, analytic article have vanished completely. There are no critical reviews about fiction, movies, or theatre. When you look into our papers, you do not see such articles there.
It means that the strength of contemporary journalism is in its all-penetrating mass character, while skill has become a weak point. Skill is a thing that must be acquired gradually. Apart from the ability to run and catch information, one must understand and competently present it. Journalism has become a hasty trade that is trying to overtake itself.
Q.: You are Dean of the Faculty of TV and Radio Broadcasting and Theatrical Art, one of the most popular divisions of the Krasnodar State Institute of Culture. What are the current problems of higher education?
A.: I have founded two faculties – of journalism and TV and radio broadcasting. Regretfully, I had to leave the Faculty of Journalism. When I worked there, my students were gifted and persistent persons that ultimately became professional journalists. For instance, Margarita Simonyan was one of my first students. Now there are more and more students who have found themselves in journalism by mere chance – they listen to lectures delivered by many different teachers, and as a result crowds of badly taught students graduate the faculty. The level at the Faculty of TV and Radio Broadcasting that trains future TV journalists and cameramen is higher. But time is going on, and the staff changes. In any case, I am not ashamed of any of my former students.