Newsreel: Is Its Revival Possible?

The “Concept of development of documentary cinema and the film chronicle of Russia”, put forward by the Filmmakers Union of the Russian Federation, contains a disputable proposal to revive newsreels, which is analyzed in the article in social, historical and media contexts. Filmed press was in demand at the time when the cinema was the only audiovisual channel in mass media. It has been an instrument of propaganda but still it constitutes the bulk of filmed chronicles or the visual history of this country. On the other hand, film documents, initially not meant to be shown, later served as material for propaganda. The contradistinction of film chronicle and propaganda proves to be naïve in TV practice. Broadcasting news of the day if not of the hour, television gives a transitory and momentary image, and normally tends to cover the absence of life shots by verbal information. For history, on the contrary, the authentic documentary image is of paramount value - the image of an object that appears today or is bound to disappear tomorrow, of those present events that will shape the future of the country. It demands a quite different space-time assessment of actuality and consequently a different style of film shooting which presumes a secondary, nominative, verbal explanation. The historical value of the in-coming documentary as well as the reliability and profitability of its storage in the present digital form are doubtful from the viewpoint of the RGAKFD, which supports the idea of the revival of newsreels. The documents of everlasting importance should rather be shot on film in the format of their archive storage while their regular representation may form the mission of an audiovisual journal for digital distribution starting with the cinema.

Malkova Liliana Yu

PhD (Arts), Professor, TV and Radiobroadcasting, Department of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University


Author for correspondence.


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Copyright (c) 2016 Malkova L.Y.

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