Odessa 2014. Alternative News and Atrocity Narratives on Russian TV
In early May of 2014, the city of Odessa became the scene of violent clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine activists, resulting in nearly 50 casualties. Commentators on Russian TV reacted immediately and presented a highly biased interpretation of what had taken place in Odessa. This article examines the representation of the events in Russian news broadcasts and TV talk shows. The focus lies on ‘alternative’ news and the ‘fabrication’ of facts on the one hand, and on atrocity narratives as a highly effective means of attracting and stimulating the viewers’ attention on the other. Furthermore, questions concerning the interaction of the supposedly ‘old’ media of TV and the ‘new’ digital media will shed light on propaganda strategies and techniques, which while definitely not new in their general features, have changed significantly with respect to their potential impact and to new possibilities of dissemination.
Ukraine crisis; Russian television; propaganda; TV news; TV talk shows
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