Technological, economic and political aspects of Internet in the post-Soviet area: Online talk in February

Book coverIn February, Sergey Davydov, editor and contributor to the volume “Internet in the Post-Soviet Area – Technological, Economic and Political Aspects” (Springer, 2023), will present a comparative perspective on Internet development on the vast territory of the former USSR taken diversity of media systems of these countries and still significant role of the Runet.

Also, two contributors, Anastasia Saponova and Sergei A. Samoilenko will join the talk to present their chapters. Saponova will cover the media literacy in Central Asia, while Samoilenko will delve into the cancel culture in contemporary Russian public discourse.

The Online talk will be held in Zoom on February 13 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about the future online talks, please leave your contact information here by February 12, 18:00: registration form. If you have already subscribed to the Online talks mailing list, you don’t need to register again: you will receive further information via email.

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Gendered aspects of propaganda and disinformation on the Russo-Ukrainian war: Online talk in January

Online talks continue in January with Valentyna Shapovalova’s talk on “Gendered aspects of propaganda and disinformation on the Russo-Ukrainian war”. Shapovalova’s Ph.D. project in the University of Copenhagen is an empirical exploration of gendered discourses in Russian disinformation and propaganda, as well as a theoretical dive into the (authoritarian) media systemic developments in Russia, in the context of the war in Ukraine. The core of the project is critical, scrutinizing the political and ideological structure in Russia built on the conservative notion of traditional values. Here, a discursive view of ideology and power is applied (in line with Norman Fairclough), focusing on the intersection of Russian disinformation/propaganda, gender, and representations of the  ongoing war.

The Online talk will be held on Zoom on January 9 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about the future online talks, please leave your contact information here by January, 18:00: registration form. If you have already subscribed to the Online talks mailing list, you don’t need to register again: you will receive further information via email.

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All’s fair in nuclear power and war? Ecological narratives in international media coverage on Ukrainian nuclear power plants during the Russian war: Online talk in December

In December, Mika Perkiömäki from Tampere University will give a presentation on the international media coverage of the Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The research aims at assessing whether the prevailing narratives emerging from the media are of ecological or geopolitical character.

The Online talk will be held on Zoom on December 12 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about the future online talks, please leave your contact information here by December, 11 at noon: registration form. If you have already subscribed to the Online talks mailing list, you don’t need to register again: you will receive further information via email.

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RJEX project update: Researchers discussed resilience, resistance and compliance at the Aleksanteri Conference

by Anniina Sonerva and Katja Lehtisaari

On 27 October, researchers of the project “Russian independent journalism in exile: in search of relevance and resilience” participated Aleksanteri Conference at the University of Helsinki with a panel “Resilience/Resistance/Compliance: Russian Journalistic and Activist Communities in Exile and in the Country”. Katja Lehtisaari chaired this panel on Russian journalistic and activist communities, with Elena Rodina and Olga Dovbysh presenting preliminary findings from the project on Russian independent journalism in exile.

The preliminary findings of the study highlight the struggle between immobility and forced mobility. Over 1000 journalists have left Russia since the invasion of Ukraine and despite relative stability, the journalists face several challenges, like uncertain futures and difficulty making long-term plans. “Professional identity serves as a vital resource for the journalists in exile, helping them maintain significance and agency”, Dovbysh said in the presentation.

Other panelists covered the subject matters from multiple perspectives: Françoise Daucé (EHESS/CERCEC, France) presented findings on the environment of distributed oppression and fragmented media, Ekaterina Kalinina (Stockholm University) reported results on the transformation of urban activism in Russia and rapidly evolving attitudes of activists and Jarmo Koponen (University of Helsinki) reported on the division of Russian-language media into Western and Russian versions.

The panelists presented previously unreleased research findings on Russian journalistic and activist communities, allowing the researchers to share their insights and foster informed dialogue on these subjects.

Read more project updates here.

Fortress Belarus: Understanding Portrayal of the Enemy in Belarusian State Propaganda: Online talk in November

In November, Nerijus Maliukevičius, from the Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science, and Makimas Milta, from the Eastern Europe Studies Centre of Vilnius, will give a presentation on the case of Belarus and its regime’s enemy representations. The talk will be based on their research on how Lukashenka’s regime portrayed its enemy in the wake of brutal mass repression and forced relocation of Belarusian activists and media professionals.

The Online talk will be held on Zoom on November, 14th from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about the next online talks, please leave your contact information here by November, 13 at noon: registration form. If you have previously registered for Online talks or RMLN email list, you don’t need to register again.

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What is going on online in Kyrgyzstan? Social media and online activism in Kyrgyzstan today: Online talk in October

In October, Elira Turdubaeva, from the International Ala-Too University in Kyrgyzstan will give a presentation on social media and online activism in today’s Kyrgyzstan. As editor and contributor to the volume “Mapping the Media and Communication Landscape of Central Asia”, Elira will discuss the local media landscape of Kyrgyzstan, shedding light on critical issues affecting its digital environment.

The Online talk will be held on Zoom on October, 10 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about the next online talks, please leave your contact information here by October, 9 at noon: registration form. If you have previously registered for Online talks or RMLN email list, you don’t need to register again.

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Professional identity and survival strategies of exiled journalists from Syria and Russia: Online talk in September

In recent years, the oppressive political and legal climate in many countries has forced independent journalists and media actors into exile. Syria, Belarus, Afghanistan, Russia are recent examples of a long list of countries, from were journalists are expelled en masse. Being displaced, many of them strive to continue their operations in exile in other countries and have to adapt to a completely foreign regulatory environment and an unstable political context. Exilic journalists face professional and personal crisis and have to reconsider own professional identity crisis, adapt to precarious nature of the labour, and survive within financial insustainability. Online talk in September combines three research projects on exiled journalism from Syria and Russia to discuss challenges and resilience of the displaced media and find approaches to scholarship on exiled journalism as worldwide phenomenon.

Yazan Badran from Vrije Universiteit Brussel will present his research “Precarious newsroom: Dynamics of precarity and agency in Syrian exiled media in Turkey” where he addresses precarisation of journalistic work of media practitioners, whose professional and personal lifeworlds are underpinned by multiple layers of precarity. Jenny Wiik and Elena Johansson from Gothenburg University will talk on “Russian journalists in exile: rethinking of professional identity” where they ask how exile affects the professional identity of Russian journalists, and how they navigate the challenges associated with upholding their journalistic values and credibility. Finally, Katja Lehtisaari from Tampere University will share the tentative results of her interviews with donor organisations to explore “Resilient model(s) for independent media in exile” in order to understand the impact of financing model on journalistic autonomy and the agenda-setting of the exilic media outlets.

Online talk will be organized in Zoom September, 12 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you want to participate and get emails about the next online talks, please leave your contact information here until September, 11 noon: registration form. If you registered for Online talks or RMLN email list before, no need to register again, you will get the information.

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Online talks on (not only) Russian media: new academic year!

We are happy to announce that Russian Media Lab Network in collaboration with Tampere Research Center for Russian and Chinese Media continue their joint initiative of Online talks on Russian Media for the forth academic season. This year we aim to extend the borders and invite more research studying a vast region of Eurasia, therefore the talks will often be on not only Russian media.

Read more about the Talks here. As usual, we meet every second Tuesday of a month in Zoom between 12:00 and 13:30 (Helsinki time).

If you want to get emails about the next online talks and participate, please leave your contact information here: Registration form

Schedule: 

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RJEX project update: Researchers took part in the workshop on incarceration and immobility in the Nordic countries

Helsinborg, Sweden. Photo by E.Rodina

On 30-31 May, 2023, Elena Rodina and Olga Dovbysh took part in the workshop “Reimagining Incarceration and Immobility in the Nordic Countries” in Helsingborg, Sweden (the workshop was funded by the ReNEW research hub, NordForsk). Dr Rodina presented a paper «Russian exiled journalists in Nordic countries: modes of isolation and immobility», that focused on the interdisciplinarity of theoretical approach to examining today’s exiled journalistic communities. Dr Dovbysh presented the «Russian independent journalism in exile: in search of relevance and resilience» and discussed the project’s current outline, hypothesis, and plans for the upcoming research period. Other participants included Anastasia Burakova, founder of the «Ark» project, Dr Daria Krivonos (Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives, University of Helsinki), Dr Sherzod Eraliev (Sociology of Law Department, Lund University) and others. The organisation and facilitation of the workshop were led by Dr Larisa Kangaspuro from the Center for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki. The discussion that ensued uncovered the interesting overlap between migration, migrant labor and precarity, and journalism studies when it comes to research on contemporary media in exile.

Staging War: Information warfare on Telegram and TikTok during the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In June, RMLN hosts Ramón Reichert from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, who will give a lecture “Staging War: Information warfare on Telegram and TikTok during the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Lecture will be held in hybrid format June, 8 from 13.00 to 14.30 (Helsinki time). If you want to participate online, please leave your contact information here until June, 7 noon: registration form. If you want to participate offline, join us in Helsinki at the Aleksanteri Institute (Unioninkatu 40C).

About the lecture: Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 we have been seeing the struggle of two opposing forms of strategic communication. On the one hand, the centrally controlled propaganda regime in Moscow. On the other hand, a grassroots movement in political communication: a variety of content (visual storytelling through photography, video, graphics, diagrams, and maps) from actors of different size that work together through a common goal and a common narrative. This research examines the different media strategies that are used in the context of visual, narrative, and technical-infrastructural (hashtags, trending topics, memes, and bots) ‘control’ of public opinion and collective memory. The lecture focuses on information warfare in Telegram and TikTok that take place during the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. Today a constant war feed on social media and online-platforms has emerged. Civilians, combatants, and soldiers use cell phones to record war victims, torture and cruelty, troop movements, destroyed military equipment and bomb attacks and disseminate them on Telegram and TikTok channels.

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