Political news and propaganda in Russian broadcasting media: The case study of Parliamentary election in Russia in December, 2011 and its media representation
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The Parliamentary election in Russia held in December, 2011 caused vote fraud scandal and resulted in a wide-scale protest movement which spread all over the country. The Western media repeatedly compared political situation in Russia to ‘Arab spring’. Russian media, in their turn, got divided in two opposite camps regarding their reporting on the issue.
This study examines news coverage of the political conflict in two Russian media outlets and interprets the findings within the framework of propaganda. The analysis incorporates two main levels: institutional and textual. In-depth interviews with the journalists were conducted in order to establish what internal and external factors, such as censorship or state control, shaped news reporting and promoted ideological bias. The comparative analysis of news coverage involved two media outlets
Russia Today and Radio Liberty, which adhere to different ideological perspectives. The results show that both media represented contrasting versions of the situation and used information selectively in order to pursue certain goals. Nevertheless, the analysis allows to conclude that Russia Today explicitly supported the views of the Russian authorities and oppressed undesirable facts and opinions. Its news policy also evokes an idea of cold war, as it repeatedly appeals to the image of external enemy – the USA. Radio Liberty, in contrast, provided various opportunities to the discontent part of the Russian society to speak out, which can be considered as an attempt to represent the other side of the story, as it was excluded from the news agenda of the state owned media. However, news policy of Radio Liberty also implied certain propagandistic objectives.
The study confirms the assumption that propaganda arguably exists within any political doctrine, but can take explicit and implicit forms which are difficult to detect without thorough scrutiny of overall news reportage of certain media.
Further research should look at the role of social media in a series of political scandals and protest movement awakening in Russia, as many media experts link the political situation with emergence of new means of communication. It could also compare news representation of the current political conflict in several Russian domestic independent media to detect distinctions and similarities and try to evaluate what kind of an ideology they communicated to the audience.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 89 p.
propaganda, broadcasting media, Parliamentary election, Russia Today, Radio Liberty
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-78323DiVA: diva2:537160
Riegert, Kristina, professor