NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin propaganda comes to Showtime. Putin smirks in this trailer when Oliver Stone asks him ‘Why did Russia hack the election?'” – Andrew S. Weiss @andrewsweiss

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

(Andrew S. Weiss – @andrewsweiss – Twitter – May 1, 2017) [Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment. Russia and Eurasia Program] Kremlin propaganda comes to Showtime. Putin smirks in this trailer when Oliver Stone asks him “Why did Russia hack the election?” Showtime Doc Films @SHO_Docs No topic is off limits. The Putin Interviews, a revealing series of interviews between […]

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Ellen Mickiewicz: “New info re RT”

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

Subject: New info re RT Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2017 From: Ellen Mickiewicz <ellen.mickiewicz@gmail.com> Ellen Mickiewicz James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy Studies in the Sanford Institute for Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at Duke University. Maxim Audinet’s piece about RT in Le Monde diplomatique [JRL#65] provides data that are partly right, partly not. Does the corrective […]

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Almost Half of Russians Say They Can’t Distinguish Truth from Lies in Moscow Media

Satellite Dishes

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 15, 2017) Almost half of Russians – 46 percent – say that they often cannot distinguish “false information from truth” in media reports, while a similar percentage – 46 percent say that they can, numbers that are relatively constant across groups of different ages and social classes, according to Aleksey Levinson […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the News is Reported in Russia” – The School of Russian and Eurasian Studies/Andrei Nesterov

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

“According to a 2016 poll by the independent Levada Center, 80% of Russians view television as their primary source of news. The same Levada poll, however, shows that only 41% trust the news as an objective source of information. The broadcasts sampled here are from Russia’s most-watched channels: First Channel and Russia Channel. …”

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The Kremlin Reportedly Commissioned a Report on Russian State TV, and the Results Were Oof

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kevin Rothrock – February 28, 2017) The Putin administration commissioned an independent expert analysis of Russian network television, according to the news site Znak.com. The study was reportedly prepared in particular for Sergei Kiriyenko, the president’s first deputy chief of staff. Znak.com says a private company was hired to “make sense of the reality depicted […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A way to get real news to Russia; A U.S. attempt to counter disinformation takes shape in Current Time” – Washington Post

Satellite Dishes

… Current Time television, a product of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Voice of America, is a 24/7 Russian-language television network based in Prague … aimed at audiences inside Russia as well as the borderlands of the former Soviet Union. … intended to provide ‘fair and accurate reporting, serving as a reality check on disinformation that is driving conflict […]

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Russians Less Convinced by Political Talk Shows than Audience Figures Suggest, Journalists Say

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 2, 2017) Significant percentages of Russians watch political talk shows which now make up as much as 90 minutes of prime time every night, but that fact does not mean that they are entirely pleased by the structure and content of these shows or are greatly influenced in ways that help […]

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Streaming Wars: The Real Fight Behind Russia’s False YouTube ‘Ban’

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 30, 2016) Internet video giant YouTube will not be forced out of Russia under a new bill regulating online streaming services, the Russian government has confirmed. “We can officially say that all talk of YouTube facing legal restrictions is simply not true,” Deputy Communications Minister Alexei Volin told the Rambler News Service on Wednesday. […]

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Ukraine blacklists over 500 films and TV series

File Photo of Reel of Film

KYIV. Nov 30 (Interfax) – The National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine has published a list of films and television series which have been banned by the Ukrainian State Film Agency from screening in 2014-2016. The list, which includes 544 audiovisual works, was published on the Council’s website on Wednesday. “In 2014-2016 the State Film Agency denied […]

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Five Rules for Living Through and Looking Beyond the Putin Stagnation

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 20, 2016) Those who lived through the Brezhnev stagnation, commentator Dmitry Gubin says, know that “when the chances for change for the better don’t exist, one must particularly carefully filter information and choose one’s strategy of behavior.” Now, Russia is in another such period, and to help them, he offers five […]

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Boycott Russia Today facebook page: “BRT reading list of critical online articles about RT, 2010-2016”

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Facebook – Boycott Russia Today facebook page – reused with permission) Bullough, Oliver (2013) Inside Russia Today: counterweight to the mainstream media, or Putin’s mouthpiece?: http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/world-affairs/2013/05/inside-russia-today-counterweight-mainstream-media-or-putins-mou Fitzpatrick, Catherine (2010) More Moral Equivalency from Vadim Nikitin: http://3dblogger.typepad.com/minding_russia/2010/04/more-moral-equivalency-from-vadim-nikitin.html Gray, Rosie (2014) How The Truth Is Made At Russia Today: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/how-the-truth-is-made-at-russia-today Ioffe, Julia (2010) What Is Russia Today? http://www.cjr.org/feature/what_is_russia_today.php?page=all Kincaid, Cliff (2011) Russian […]

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Turning our backs on Ukraine

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Two years after the tumultuous events of 2014, Ukraine is falling out of international media – with consequences for Ukraine’s democracy. (opendemocracy.org – Ian Bateson – May 11, 2016) Ian Bateson is a foreign correspondent living in Kiev, Ukraine. He has written for Reuters, the Guardian, the Daily Beast and AL Jazeera. He tweets as @ianbateson. Over the past year, […]

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Standing Up for Reason: Russian Academia Fights Pseudoscience

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – February 22, 2016) A young woman named Nikol looks to the camera, wiping away what seem to be tears of happiness. She has reason to be happy, having navigated through to the next round of the Russian television show “Battle of the Psychics.” Somehow, she had managed to select the one car […]

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Russians Still Get News from TV But Trust It Far Less than They Did, Gudkov Says

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 21, 2016) More than eight out of ten Russians still get their news from television, but the share of them trusting that source has fallen from 79 percent in 2008 to only 41 percent now, a trend that is leading ever more of them to rely on family members and close […]

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Moscow’s Steamship Bolshoi Keeps Rolling

Bolshoi Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Raymond Stults – February 9, 2016) [DJ: Bolshoi Babylon available on HBO in the US] In the summer of 2013, a British film production team was given unprecedented access to the Bolshoi Theater for purposes of making a documentary about the theater’s inner workings. Titled “Bolshoi Babylon,” the film made its debut on cable television […]

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Andrew Davies’ New ‘War and Peace’ Takes the Small Screen by Storm

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Des Brown – January 27, 2016) British screenwriter Andrew Davies is television’s best English literature lecturer. He introduced homicidal British Prime Minister Francis Urquhart to BBC viewers in the “House of Cards” trilogy between 1990 and 1995. Just over two decades ago, a wet-shirted Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy captured the national imagination in Davies’ […]

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Netflix’s Desire for World Domination Reaches Russia

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – January 15, 2016) China, the world’s most populous country, might have slipped through its fingers, but with Russia Netflix in January pocketed the largest country by landmass and the promise of tapping into a booming online market. Netflix’s move into Russia, along with 129 other countries, was heralded by its CEO as […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “Russians Read Tolstoy’s War and Peace in 60-Hour TV Marathon”

Leo Tolstoy file photo

AP covers a televised reading of War and Peace. More than 1,300 Russians are reading Leo Tolstoy’s notoriously lengthy novel “War and Peace” aloud in a 60-hour marathon on national television. The public readings, pre-recorded at locations all over Russia, from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to remote Arctic islands, have been coordinated by Tolstoy’s great-great-granddaughter and feature Russians […]

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Patron Saint Of Russian Journalism Despairs Over Putin’s Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(RFE/RL – Roman Super, Robert Coalson – MOSCOW – September 20, 2015) If Russian journalism has a patron saint, his name is Yasen Zasursky. The ailing 85-year-old headed the Moscow State University (MGU) journalism department for more than 40 years before becoming its president emeritus in 2007. The roster of respected journalists who received their diplomas from him is astounding: […]

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Ukrainian Culture Ministry makes list of 117 Russian performers threatening national security

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – July 8, 2015) By way of implementing the law On Amendments to Certain Laws on the Protection of TV and Radio Space of Ukraine the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture has made a list of 117 performing artists from Russia that has been submitted to the relevant authorities, the ministry’s website says. The report notes that by way of […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Dismissal of American vice rector in Nizhny Novgorod causes controversy

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – July 3, 2015) The dismissal of an American lecturer from a leading position at a Russian university following an “incriminating” report on television sparked talk of an increase in the harassment of foreigners. Russian lawmakers are planning to introduce a “patriotic stop list” – a list of foreign funds […]

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Kremlin Critic Emerges From Coma

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – June 2, 2015) Friends and allies of prominent Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., who mysteriously fell ill with poisoning symptoms in Moscow, say he has regained consciousness after a weeklong coma. “Vladimir has come out of a coma,” former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in a June 2 tweet. Kara-Murza, 33, is a coordinator for Open […]

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Russia’s Biggest Social Network VK Beats Television in Battle for Viewers

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – May 8, 2015) Russia’s leading social network VK has beaten the country’s biggest television channel in the battle for viewers’ attention, data from media research firm TNS Russia showed. VK, previously known as VKontakte, had 13.2 million daily users in March this year, while state-owned giant Channel One had an audience of […]

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Putin gives the world his geography lesson: ‘All the former USSR is Russia’

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – April 28, 2015) The 150-minute film “The President” about Vladimir Putin is mostly boring and predictable in that it insists that “without Vladimir Vladimirovich nothing in the country will work,” Kseniya Kirillova notes. But she points out that there are three “lessons” contained in the film that must not be ignored. First, she argues, […]

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Over 1.5 million questions asked in upcoming Putin’s Q&A session

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) – Over 1.5 million questions have been asked in the upcoming Q&A session of President Vladimir Putin to begin at noon on April 16. “We have received 1.2 million calls, approximately 24,000 MMS messages, 285,000 text messages, 6,500 video questions and almost 190,000 e-mails sent to the website,” Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. Russians wishing […]

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Soviet-Style Censorship Returns to Russian Arts

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman, Moscow Times Theater Critic – April 3, 2015) How many bulls does it take to trash a china shop? We may have an answer by the time the dust settles in a seemingly self-refueling controversy that keeps swirling around an opera house in Novosibirsk. Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said this week on […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Putin’s Disinformation Matrix

Satellite Dishes

Russia Today, the Kremlin’s English-language TV organ, launched a U.K. edition earlier this month. Headquartered near Westminster, the channel will beam RT’s signature blend of propaganda and tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorizing into millions of British homes. Welcome to Vladimir Putin’s disinformation matrix. RT is merely one part of the Kremlin’s aggressive media effort, as a new Institute of Modern Russia report […]

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NEWSWATCH BBC: Brand Putin: Russia’s president still in fashion 15 years on

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

[“Brand Putin: Russia’s president still in fashion 15 years on” – BBC News – Sarah Rainsford – Moscow, March 27, 2015] The BBC examines Russia President Vladimir Putin’s personal notoriety and power as political symbol. Fifteen years ago, Vladimir Putin was elected promising to make Russia strong again: a country its citizens could be proud of and that the world would respect. * […]

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Interfax: Russia licenses CNN broadcaster

CNN Screenshot With News About Ukraine and Russia and Air Disaster

MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) – Russia has issued a universal broadcast license to CNN, press secretary of the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) Vadim Ampelonsky told Interfax. “An order to issue a universal broadcast license to CNN has been signed,” he noted. The newspaper Izvestia said earlier that CNN International […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian state TV’s Crimea film attracts audience share of 40 per cent – research

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(RIA Novosti – March 17, 2015) Russian state television’s heavily promoted drama-documentary about the annexation of Crimea, “Crimea: The Road to the Motherland”, attracted an audience share of 39.6 per cent of viewers aged 18 and over, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on 17 March, quoting data from market researchers TNS Gallup Media. The programme was shown on […]

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CNN Applies for Russian Broadcast License Month After Quitting Country

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 18, 2015) U.S. cable news channel CNN has applied for a broadcast license from Russia’s state media watchdog, just one month after leaving the country following the introduction of a restrictive media advertising law. State media regulator Roskomnadzor received the application Tuesday and now has 30 days to consider it, news agency Interfax reported […]

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Interfax: Privately-owned Russian TV channel announces return of live broadcasts

Map of Russia

(Interfax – Moscow, February 9, 2015) The Dozhd television channel is resuming live broadcasts, which were temporarily suspended while the channel was in the process of moving to a new television studio. “From today, the Dozhd television channel is based at a new studio at the Flakon design centre. We have almost finished setting up the new studio, and in […]

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U.S. Drama ‘House of Cards’ Features Putin Look-Alike in New Trailer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2015) [Trailer here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/u-s-drama-house-of-cards-features-putin-look-alike-in-new-trailer/514243.html] A trailer for season three of U.S. hit series House of Cards has fans in a frenzy over what appear to be heavy hints that the new season’s plot line will feature a character based on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new series will see actor Kevin Spacey reprise […]

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Reporting on Russian Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(openedemocracy.net – December 8, 2014 – Elisabeth Schimpfossl) Dr Elisabeth Schimpfossl is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London. Her research focuses on elites, transformation and media in post-Soviet Russia. The idea of censorship on Russian television misses the point. When it comes to reporting, loyalty takes precedence. Since the […]

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Russia’s Dozhd TV Defies Crackdown by Continuing Broadcasts From Apartment

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – December 9, 2014) Russia’s main independent television channel, Dozhd, has been forced to leave its Moscow studio for the second time in as many months, but is continuing its broadcasts from an apartment in the capital, news reports said. The digital channel has been struggling for survival ever since it was dropped […]

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The True Russia in Book ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – November 25, 2014) Television “is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country,” British producer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev says in his superb debut book “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” which follows the author’s decade-long career in factual television set against the backdrop of Moscow’s mega-rich […]

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Interfax: Head of Kremlin rights council deplores CNN’s decision to quit Russia

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 11 (Interfax) – The decision of the news television station CNN International to end broadcasts in Russia will “deplete” the information picture, head of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov told Interfax. “This is certainly bad news. The fact that CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia will deplete our information picture very seriously. We would like […]

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CNN is allowed to broadcast on cable and satellite channels in Russia – ministry

Satellite Dishes

(Interfax – November 11, 2014) Russian laws are not stop the CNN television network from broadcasting on cable and satellite channels in Russia, the country’s Communications and Mass Media Ministry said in a press release. “Following the CNN television channel’s announcement that it will soon end broadcasts in Russia, the Communications and Mass Media Ministry of the Russian Federation explains […]

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Cable TV Channel CNN Says It Will End Russian Broadcasts in 2015

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 11, 2014) Cable news channel CNN will end its broadcasts in Russia starting on Jan.1, after the country passed a law restricting foreign ownership of media outlets. Time Warner, which owns CNN, said it had notified its Russian cable distributors VimpelCom and Akado that it would stop broadcasting in the country by Dec. 31, […]

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Interfax: State pollster denies Russian TV brainwashes viewers about Putin

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Russian TV is not a zombie box as it speaks of President Vladimir Putin not only in glowing terms but also carries criticisms of him, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), Valeriy Fedorov, has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 29 October, as reported by privately-owned […]

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Russian Intellectuals Ask State-Run TV to Admit Falsehoods in Ukraine Reports

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 24, 2014) A congress of Russian intellectuals has appealed to the head of state-run Channel One television to acknowledge “falsifications” in its reporting on Ukraine, holding the network accountable for the deaths of young Russians who were moved to go and fight there. The congress told Channel One chief Konstantin Ernst […]

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Interfax: TV main source of info for most Russians on Ukraine events; over half believe it is unbiased – poll

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – August 29, 2014) An overwhelming majority of Russians – 94 percent – are following the events in Ukraine, and television remains the primary source of information for 93 percent of them, the Levada Center sociological service told Interfax with reference to a nationwide public opinion poll it conducted on August 22-25. About a quarter of respondents – 25 […]

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RIA Novosti: Watchdog Urges Kiev to Reverse Ban on Russian TV Channels

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – A New York-based media rights watchdog has hit out at Ukrainian authorities over their ban on Russian television broadcasts in the country and has urged Kiev to immediately restore unrestricted access to information, a statement published on its website Thursday said. “We are concerned by Ukraine’s ban on Russian television channels and call on […]

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Putin Now Down to One Ally – Moscow Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 24, 2014) Tsar Aleksandr III famously said that Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet – but now, according to Rashit Akhmetov, the editor of “Zvezda Povolzhya,” Vladimir Putin is down to only one – Moscow television with its ability to shape and direct Russian opinion. In […]

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50% of Russians Think TV Is Most Reliable Source of Information, Poll Shows

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 20, 2014) Half of all Russians consider television to be the most reliable source of information for domestic and international news coverage, a recent study of the Russian media environment has shown. The study published Tuesday by independent pollster Levada Center found that 50 percent of Russians – and 65 percent of Muscovites – […]

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The limitations of Russian propaganda in Ukraine; Russian TV is waging a propaganda war against Ukraine. But is it working?

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(opendemocracy.net – Joanna Szostek – June 11, 2014) Joanna Szostek is a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL The long propaganda campaign waged by Russian television channels against Ukraine’s political leadership and the West is continuing unabated. This past weekend, one Sunday night news programme headlined the ‘savagery’ (zverstvo) of ‘Fascism’ in Ukraine, which […]

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