Author Archives: Olga Dovbysh

International Mobility through Media Lab’s Network

by Saara Ratilainen

Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (Jomec) hosted one of Russian Media Lab researchers, Dr. Saara Ratilainen, as a visiting academic from September to December 2018. This is her account of international exchange facilitated through the Russian Media Lab’s network.

My visit took place at an exciting time, as in the start of the academic year Jomec moved from an early 20th century neoclassical building located at the university campus off the city centre into a shiny new building by the Cardiff central railway station. From the outset, the state-of-the-art glass and steel high-rise, built as part of the city center’s development, was designed for new overlaps between industry and academic worlds. The students, teachers and researchers at Jomec are to work alongside and share facilities with the media broadcaster BBC Cumry/Wales.

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Call for papers “Media control as source of political power in Central and Eastern Europe”


Workshop at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki organized by the Russian Media Lab in collaboration with the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen

Helsinki, 02 – 03 September 2019

We invite proposals for papers to be discussed at an intensive two-day workshop on “Media control as source of political power in Central and Eastern Europe” at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki on 02 – 03 September 2019. The workshop will involve around 15 scholars, and early-career researchers are especially encouraged to apply. Travel expenses and accommodation costs of invited participants will be covered by the organisers.

The workshop aims to bring together approaches from political science, media studies and other relevant academic disciplines to get a more comprehensive picture of the role of media control in consolidating and expanding political power in authoritarian regimes and in “backsliding” democracies. The focus of the workshop will equally be on the interplay of media and political actors and on the effect of this relationship on regime dynamics.

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Russian Media Lab at the Aleksanteri Conference – 24-26 October 2018, University of Helsinki

The Russian Media Lab is well-represented at the 18th Annual Aleksanteri Conference “Liberation – Freedom – Democracy? 1918–1968–2018”. The project is hosting one round table, six panels and one plenary session! Further details on Russian Media Lab’s stream can be found below. Please consult the Conference website for the latest version of the programme. We look forward to seeing you there!

Russian Media Lab I: Roundtable “Researching Russian Media – Challenges and Future Perspectives”
Venue: Hall 10, University of Helsinki Main Building, 3rd floor, Fabianinkatu 33

24 October 15:30-17:00

Participants: project members Mariëlle Wijermars, Katja Lehtisaari, Olga Dovbysh, Saara Ratilainen, Jussi Lassila

There will be opportunity for informal talk with project members during and after the roundtable. We are open to new ideas, projects and cooperation!

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Olga Dovbysh will participate at public event “How is Europe Changing by Informational Technologies?” organized by the German-Russian Exchange in St. Petersburg

On 29 September, Russian Media Lab researcher Olga Dovbysh will participate as a speaker in open podium discussion “How Is European Media Changing: traditional and social media, post-truth and fake news, virtual public sphere, new transparency and right for information” at the public event The Fall Meetings “How is Europe Changing by Informational Technologies?”

The Fall Meetings – 2018 is the second annual public event of the German-Russian Exchange in St. Petersburg dedicated to the current European problems, similar to the regular public Fall Conversations in Berlin, organized by the German-Russian Exchange since the recent 20 years (

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Mariëlle Wijermars to give a lecture on memory politics in contemporary Russia at Higher School of Economics in Moscow

Russian Media Lab researcher Mariëlle Wijermars will give a lecture at Higher School of Economics (Moscow), faculty of Communication, Media and Design on 28 September. During her talk she will explore how the Russian central government employs cultural memory to claim political legitimacy and discredit political opposition. Also Wijermars will present her new book “Memory Politics in Contemporary Russia: Television, Cinema and the State”.

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Interview with Olga Dovbysh, new postdoctoral researcher of Russian Media Lab

From 1 September Olga Dovbysh has joined the Russian Media Lab team as a postdoctoral researcher. She will join the current project on Russian media and freedom of expression. 

Can you tell a bit about yourself and your research?

I am from Russia, where I have been working since 2013 at Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Earlier, I graduated from the master’s program “Media management” from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In Moscow I’ve been lecturing and running seminars in both English and Russian languages in media studies.

In 2018 I defended my dissertation in sociology. It was an interdisciplinary research lying at the intersection of economic sociology and media studies. I studied how the structure of Russian regional media market changed after the transformation of links between state authorities and media outlets. Firstly, I explored the processes that led to this transformation. Among them are (1) changes in national media policy aimed at further commercialization of media outlets (it was implemented by the repeal of three laws that regulated  economic support of regional mass media); (2) poor development and high disproportion of regional advertising market; (3) desire of regional authorities to control regional media landscape without participation in media capital.
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