Nothing is true? The credibility of news and conflicting narratives during “Information War” in Ukraine

Szostek, J. (2018) Nothing is true? The credibility of news and conflicting narratives during “Information War” in Ukraine. International Journal of Press/Politics, 23(1), pp. 116-135. (doi:10.1177/1940161217743258)

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Abstract

In international politics, the strategic narratives of different governments compete for public attention and support. The Russian government’s narrative has prompted western concern due to fears that it exerts a destabilizing effect on societies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. However, the behavior and thought processes of news consumers targeted by contradictory strategic narratives are rarely subjected to analysis. This paper examines how Ukrainian news consumers decide where to get their news and what to believe in a media environment where “propaganda” and “disinformation” are regarded as major threats to national security. Evidence comes from thirty audio-diaries and in-depth interviews conducted in 2016 among adult residents of Odesa Region. Through qualitative analysis of the diary and interview transcripts, the paper reveals how participants judged the credibility of news and narratives based on their priorities (what they considered important), not just “facts” (what they believed had happened). The attribution of importance to different foreign policy issues was associated, in turn, with varying personal experiences, memories, and individual cross-border relationships.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by a fellowship from the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie program.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
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:International Journal of Press/Politics
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1940-1612
ISSN (Online):1940-1620
Published Online:29 November 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
First Published:First published in International Journal of Press/Politics 23(1): 116-135
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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