What Does Media Coverage Look Like in Russia?

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

As independent journalists are silenced in Russia, what does coverage of Russia’s war with Ukraine look like there?

The New York Times Neil MacFarquhar wrote, “To spend several days watching news broadcasts on the main state channels, as well as surveying state-controlled newspapers, is to witness the extent of the Kremlin’s efforts to sanitize its war with the Orwellian term ‘special military operation’ — and to make all news coverage align with that message.”

On Russian state media, where most older Russians get their news, the message is that Putin wants to “de-Nazify” and demilitarize Ukraine. It’s described not for what it is (“war”) but as a peacekeeping mission to help the Ukrainian people. It’s referred to as “special operations.”

MacFarquhar wrote that one popular show in Russia “accused the Ukrainian military of preventing civilians from leaving so they could be used as human shields. The tens of thousands of refugees fleeing west away from the Russian forces in caravans of fear and misery were not shown.”

MacFarquhar has many examples of this kind of reporting over two days spent watching Russian TV.

How Russians feel

It appears that Putin’s plan to control the media and alter the real message is working inside Russia. A telephone survey was conducted by a group of independent survey research organizations.

The results were that 58% of Russians approved of the invasion of Russia, while 23% were opposed. Now, make of that what you will. One could ask if respondents are going to be completely honest when contacted over the phone inside Russia.

Gary Langer, a U.S.-based polling expert who runs a research firm, obtained the results and shared them with The Washington Post.

As far as a breakdown, the poll showed 46% firmly supported the invasion and 13% somewhat supported it. About 23% opposed, while 13% had no opinion or declined to answer. Around 6% said they were on the fence.

Younger people tended to oppose the war. In the group of 18-to-24-year-olds, 39% opposed the war compared to 29% for it. The strongest supporters of the invasion were among those 66 or older. Of that group, 75% supported it.

More notable work regarding Russia-Ukraine

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