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Dozhd TV Fomenting a Hipster Revolution

Published: February 6, 2014 (Issue # 1796)


I like the stylish manner of the Dozhd television channel. Their format is creative and original. The only problem is that Dozhd uses a "hipster" style that only works well in a specific social niche. If Dozhd had remained a hipster channel without any serious ambitions, the authorities would have let it get away with the controversial poll it conducted on whether the Soviet Union should have surrendered Leningrad to the Nazis in the early 1940s to save hundreds of thousands of lives. But the minute Dozhd positioned itself as a serious political voice, it got itself into trouble, getting more than it gambled for.

There are three theories behind the demise of Dozhd: business interests, political interests and social interests. I think all three factors played a role.

Related: Cable, Satellite Companies Pull Russian TV Station Over WWII Poll

The first theory holds that Dozhd came into conflict with cable television operators. Dozhd managers behaved aggressively, leveraging its relatively high-income audience to wrangle unusually favorable business terms from cable operators. They even charged a fee for their online content in parallel with selling to operators. Now those cable operators have seized an opportunity to put Dozhd in its place by claiming that the channel has offended too many cable viewers.

Those who believe Dozhd was punished for political reasons point to the pro-opposition bent in its coverage. But I think it was more than just a pro-­opposition bent. The channel virtually supported revolution. This can be seen by the way Dozhd gave sympathetic coverage to the Bolotnaya Ploshchad protests and glorified the Euromaidan demonstrators. With that, they went too far. Stridently anti-Russian and marked by revolutionary excesses, Euromaidan has alarmed the Russian authorities and frightened the general population, who remember the catastrophic results of the Russian revolutions of the 20th century: the October Revolution in 1917 and the fall of Communism in 1989.

Related: Prosecutors Find No Signs of Extremism at Dozhd TV

In Russia, any group calling for revolution oversteps the boundaries. Dozhd began to follow the logic of Vladimir Lenin, who argued that the media can only serve the interests of the party and that "a newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organizer" of the revolution.

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Wednesday, Apr. 16


Learn more about AmCham’s efforts during the Joint Manufacturing, and Investment and Legal Committees Meeting today at 9 a.m. Check their website for more information about the event.


Today marks the beginning of IPhEB and CPhI Russia 2014, an international forum for the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology that will be at LenExpo today and tomorrow. Those both already established in the industries and hoping to start a career are encouraged to attend and network with their colleagues.


Thursday, Apr. 17


Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.


Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.