REGIONAL LANGUAGES IN THE MASS MEDIA: CHALLENGES OF GLOBALIZATION (CASE STUDY THE REPUBLIC OF TATARSTAN)
Modern active globalization processes pose an acute problem of reducing the functional power of minor languages. This issue gains particular importance in 22 national republics of the Russian Federation in which the official language is the statehood indicator as well as the territory, the flag, the coat of arms and the anthem. Supporting and promoting minor languages and enhancing the spheres of their functioning is one of the primary tasks for the republics with minor languages recognized as official language along with the Russian one. Preserving regional languages in the context of globalization and improving their status proposes the use of effective tools so called “levers” having influence on the prevailing part of the society. Mass Media is such instrument that covers almost all population segments and spheres of human activity. The Republic of Tatarstan, the largest national area of the Russian Federation, is an example of successful implementation of policy aimed at enhancing and supporting the promotion of minor languages. Tatar language is second to Russian in the Russian Federation in regarding the quantity of speakers. Being polyconfessional and multiethnic region the Republic of Tatarstan holds the leading position in all socio-economic indexes. A high level of the republic development allows the government to fund the programs and projects aimed at promotion of the Tatar language through different channels: print publications, radio, TV and Internet. This paper analyses the degree of Tatar language functioning in the sphere of Mass Media in modern globalized world. The first part deals with the position of Tatar language and examines measures taken by the republic government for the purpose of its supporting and popularization. The next part describes current state of Tatar Mass Media and concentrates on sociolinguistic factors causing both progressive language development and regressive one. As a result we will systemize the regularities influencing the functional power of Tatar language in Mass Media and determine the perspective of its enhancing via information space. Systematizing Tatarstan experience in terms of supporting and developing co-official languages is able to present best practices and weaker aspects demanding special attention that will in its turn provide sociolinguistic data for further activities on improving the functionality of minor languages.