News media repertoires and strategic narrative reception: A paradox of dis/belief in authoritarian Russia

Szostek, J. (2018) News media repertoires and strategic narrative reception: A paradox of dis/belief in authoritarian Russia. New Media and Society, 20(1), pp. 68-87. (doi: 10.1177/1461444816656638)

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With Internet access, citizens in non-democracies are often able to diversify their news media repertoires despite government-imposed restrictions on media freedom. The extent to which they do so depends on motivations and habits of news consumption. This article presents a qualitative study of the motivations and habits underlying news media repertoires among a group of digitally connected university students in authoritarian Russia. Interviews reveal awareness and dissatisfaction vis-a-vis the ‘propagandistic’ nature of state-controlled news content, resulting in a preference for using multiple different sources – including foreign websites and ‘non-official’ citizen accounts – to build a personal understanding of what is ‘really’ going on. The article then examines how the students make sense of conflicting narratives about international affairs which they encounter in state and non-state sources. Paradoxically, low reported consumption of distrusted, ‘propagandistic’ state television is often accompanied by reproduction of the overarching strategic narrative which state television conveys.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by postdoctoral fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme. A grant from the Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) also facilitated the fieldwork in Moscow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Szostek, Dr Joanna
Authors: Szostek, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:New Media and Society
ISSN (Online):1461-7315
Published Online:07 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in New Media and Society 20(1):68-87
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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