Group For Mass Communication Research (GMCR)
Department of Sociology, Belarusian State University
GMCR was created on January 1, 1979 in the Department of Sociology at the Belarusian State University with purpose to study the main trends and mechanisms of mass media and communication development in Belarus, to work out practical recommendations for the media of the republic, to use the results of the research in teaching sociology and journalism and for students' training.
During sixteen years GMCR did several maijor projects, such as "Effectiveness of the Republic Media", "Media Impact on Different Groups Of Youth", "Media and Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident", "Media Role in Democratization of the Belarusian Society" and a lot of case studies about different media and their audiences. Now GMCR is doing a project "Mass Communication in the Conditions of Emerging Market Economics". The results of these projects were presented in dozens of analytical papers and sent to various media, state structures and public associations. GMCR uses various methods of social research such as different surveys, documentary and content-analysis etc.
GMCR members have published more than 150 chapters in various books and articles in the national and international journals, including Sociological Studies and Questions of Psyhology (Russia), Philosophical & Sociological Thoughts and Politological Readings (Ukraine), Przekazy i Opinie (Poland), Nivinarstvo (Yugoslavia), Media Perspektiven (Germany), European Journal of Communication (UK), Communication Research and Journal of Communication (USA), UNESCO Reports on Mass Media and Communication (France), Intercome (Brazil), Canadian Journal of Communication (Canada) etc. More than 150 papers were presented at dozens of national and international conferences and colloquia.
GMCR members taught course "Problems of Media Development" in the School of Journalists Qualification Improvement in the Gosteleradio, course "Methods of Media Research" in the Faculty of Journalism at BSU, are teaching courses "Sociology of Mass Communication" and "Organizational Communication" in the Faculty of Philosophy and Economics at BSU. Different lectures were presented at various Universities in the USA, France, UK, Canada, Brazil, UK, Sweden. Head of GMCR Professor Oleg Manaev taught a course "Media in Transition Society" as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Sciences at Duke University (USA) in Spring Semester of 1994.
Three-four graduate students of the Faculty of Philosophy & Economics are trained in the GMCR annually (despite it hasn't any equipment yet), students also write papers, M.A. and Ph.D. thesis on various problems of mass media and communication (up to ten graduate and post-graduate students annually).
GMCR has a lot of effective worldwide contacts - through UNESCO, IAMCR and other international structures - with various centres for media and communication research. In 1991 it initiated series of biannual International Colloquia on problems of Mass Communication in Transition Society to create an effective network between leading mass media and communication scholars from ex-USSR and the West. The main ideas of the first Colloquium (Minsk-1991) are represented in a book "Media in Transition: from Totalitarianism to Democracy". In 1994 GMCR and its partners in France (University Aix-Marseille 1 and University Grenoble 3) and UK (University of Humberside) initiated creation of TEMPUS Project for Communication Studies at the Belarussian State University for 1994-1997.
GMCR has an archive with dozens of its own materials and dozens of western books and journals on mass media and communication which are available for everybody who is interested in these problems.
Four members of GMCR, headed by Professor Oleg Manaev, a member of IAMCR (International Association for Mass Communication Research), are very interested in any new contacts with students, scholars, journalists and public actors for further promotion of mass media and communication studies at national and international levels.