The Difference of Opinion

The coverage of news greatly differs in Russia from internal and external media sources. Most of the contrasting points are made about politics and the actions of the Kremlin. There is a bias in the way that news is covered coming from the different cultures and beliefs of journalists from different countries.

Below are the various news coverage from the last week in Russian, US, UK, and Greek media mainly from online and print agencies.

Weekly Coverage: Internal Russian Media

Image Courtesy of Rossiyskaya Gazeta

April 25th, 2016: According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Vladimir Putin acknowledged the possibility of an information attack on Russia. Putin spoke at a conference insuring that he has been transparent with information to the public and stated that the new information is “nothing unexpected, and you cannot cross any red lines.” Putin further discussed that the Kremlin has not crossed any red lines and journalists revealing the information should not cross those lines as well.

Putin also noted that free-journalism has a double standard that the Kremlin has been willing to put up with. Originally, free-journalism was regarded as Kremlin propaganda and for the most part it still is, but now it is more about the struggle of journalistic interests being met by the public and government.

This article I found interesting because the entire piece is a collection of statements by Vladimir Putin. There is no actual story to the article, just a one-sided paper that contains Putin’s statements on the releasing of possible new information and Putin challenging Russian journalistic integrity. This coverage completely favors Putin and shines a light that makes him seem that he is doing right for the country, even though he is completely disregarding journalism and its nature to investigate issues. However, I am not surprised because the Rossiyskaya Gazeta is a government-owned daily paper.

Palmyra
Image Courtesy of Tass

April 25th, 2016: Tass, a state-owned online news agency, reported that Russia’s prominent historical Hermitage Museum is willing to participate in restoring a historical monument in Palmyra, Syria. With the current armed conflicts in Syria, Russia wanted to extend help in order to maintain and restore its famous monument in Palmyra. The organization that is helping to carry out this decision is UNESCO. Russia’s Foreign Prime Minister Sergey Lavrov, stated that their will be permanent representatives in Palmyra for this monument in compliance with certain provisions in the near future.

This article did a good job in not relaying a bias in what the coverage of the decision is. Tass explained what is happening very clearly and without heavily influence of the state or opposition of the state. I think that this article is appealing because it shows Russia in an international light that they are willing to help preserve areas of Syria with heavy conflict zones. Also, it shows Russia working with other countries that want to help out with the situation. So, it does put an international aid implication on Russia, but I do not think that is bad coverage or skews the public’s perception.

Image Courtesy of Novaya Gazeta

March 15th, 2015: This article was featured on the front page of Novaya Gazeta the week of April 25th, 2016. There has been new findings in the release of information regarding the disappearing Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines flight in 2014. The editorial office of the newspaper received a confidential document regarding the peer review of the Malaysian airplane disappeared. It has been confirmed that the plane was shot down by a land missile in the south-eastern region of Ukraine.

This article posted the entire peer review report of the plane crash. Novaya Gazeta laid out all the information for the public to view and make a decision or an opinion for themselves. Also, they invited interested parties to comment on the article and the document in their “pages” section on their website.

The journalists at this newspaper disclosed that they are not experts on aviation but merely messengers of this tragedy. They revealed that the airplane was shot down by the discovery of the planes remains and the external damage done to the aircraft.

Direction of Missile Strike | Image Courtesy of Novaya Gazeta

The possible location of the missile launch is in the Donetsk region of Ukraine and there is possible implications that it could have originated from Russia. However, no clear launch site has been determined only estimated.

This article did a really great job in revealing what happened and gave solid evidence to back up all of its claims. Also, there was no bias and a clear disclosure of all available information. Even though this article raises more questions about the motives and reasons behind the destruction of the Boeing 777, it allows the readers to make their own opinions.

The one major difference between the internal media coverage of Russian interests from a state-owned paper as seen in the first two examples, to an independent investigatory paper as seen in the last example is the ability to form your own opinions. State-owned media draws conclusions for you and paints a picture about the government and what they are about versus what they actually represent. The independent media shows all of the evidence first, before implying a main point or position. They both equally cover the main issues in Russia, but lead you different feelings in terms of personal opinion after each type of article from various news media.

Weekly Coverage: External Russian Media

The Pentagon <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/politics/pentagon-budget-defense-department-isis-russia-north-korea/index.html" target="_blank">has requested $582.7 billion</a> for the upcoming fiscal year. A healthy chunk of that money would go to acquiring new hardware, including F-35 fighter jets. The Pentagon is requesting  $10.1 billion for F-35s in three variants:  43 F-35As for the Air Force, 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and four F-35Cs for the Navy.
Image Courtesy of CNN

April 15th, 2016: Russian fighter jets prose an issue with US Navy destroyer missiles in international waters, CNN reports. In multiple instances, Russian fighter jets flew 75 feet above the US Navy missile destroyer and displayed aggressive and fight-like maneuvers. The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that Russia’s actions were “reckless and provocative.” Kerry went on to say how Russia was unsafe and unprofessional and the US views this very dangerously.

The article also stated how there was a Russian intelligence ship that has had close encounters with US ships and destroyers prior to the jet incident.

I think that CNN and the US has made Russia out to look very dangerous in terms of militant actions. Also, they were one-sided in the fact that they did not get any Russian comment in the article, just information from US officials. So, the external coverage in the US is to be on the lookout for suspicious and unexplained Russian behavior.

Russia: "they held secret talks with the US on the Assad future"
Sergey Lavrov | Image Courtesy of NewsBomb

April 18th, 2016: A Greek news outlet NewsBomb, reported that Russia and the US might have been engaging in secret talks about Syria in Geneva. The Russian Foreign Prime Minister Sergey Lavrov said that there are no secret negotiations going on between Russia and the US.

The article continued to discuss how Lavrov stated how the US should revive its allies with Turkey in order to continue to participate in the Syria crisis. Lavrov also added how Syrians will decide how they live, not by the US or Russia.

This Greek newspaper did not add its own voice in it. It seems that this Greek outlet is reporting on information between countries that does not have any meaning to their own. There were other news topics that corresponded between Russia and Greece, but they were not easy to find. Also, this paper shows that Greece is shedding a light on the US and Russia for being secretive and attempting to make secret moves without informing other countries. I am not particularity a fan of how Greece reports and the information they display.

The ‘Chandos portrait’, believed to be of Shakespeare, will be part of a major exhibition of British portraits to open at the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow on Friday.
William Shakespeare | Image Courtesy of The Guardian

April 21st, 2016: According to the British paper, The Guardian, Russia and Britain are coming together under one anniversary that may help decrease mutual distrust and disregard for each government.This 400th anniversary celebrates William Shakespeare. An infamous British literary figure and playwright, that is praised in Britain, is also regarded to equally as high of standards in Russia.

On the following Monday April 25th, all Russian schools will be required to have a William Shakespeare lesson. Also, in the following month Russia will have one of their metro’s decorated inside-and-out themed with Shakespeare.

This article was interesting in that it covered something other than political hot topics between the two countries– or so I thought. The article started out with the Shakespeare commonality, but then ended with the discussion of the past and current political turbulence between the countries. The piece did not even tie back to Shakespeare in its conclusion, it just ended with the political mistrust of the countries. I think that the Guardian could have done better by staying on topic. I do like how the article was more entertainment and lifestyle based, because it represented other sides to both countries.

Blast from the Past: The Ukrainian Revolution

The Ukrainian Revolution occurred in February of 2014. The revolution sparked as Ukrainians finally had enough of the corrupt government when their then President, Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a document that would lead Ukraine to be closer to the European Union. Instead, Yanukovych signed a multi-billion dollar loan with Russia. As corruption ensued and Ukrainians protested in the capital, Russia annexed the city of Crimea. The Ukrainian government was so weak that they allowed this to happen. Below is the coverage of the revolution from a Russian newspaper and an American newspaper.

Image Courtesy of The Moscow Times

Russian Coverage: The Moscow Times reported on February 28th, 2014 stating that the real reason for the turmoil was due to wealthy business leaders in Ukraine. They discuss how in the 2000’s Russia had almost completely got rid of their powerful business leaders that influenced politics because of Putin. On the other hand, the Times stated that in 2004, Ukraine had reached the power of politics to be related to the status-quo of its citizens and not by the power of the president. They further report that because the current president did not have support of the big-business leaders, he was destined to fail and the government would suffer.

Grushevsky Street in Kiev (Jan 2014 file pic)
Image Courtesy of BBC

Ukrainian Coverage: An article released on November 21st, 2014 by Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov on BBC discussed the uprising in Ukraine earlier that year. The article showed that their had been lasting tension between the Ukrainian President and Vladimir Putin. It was stated that the Ukrainian President only seemed to sign a deal with the European Union to get revenge on Putin. Also, they reported on how the uprising scared Putin and Russia, so that was the driving force behind annexing Crimea. The article intended to show the war between Russia and Ukraine because of these uprisings and the corrupt and dangerous tactics that were being practiced in Ukraine.

Difference?

The main points of contrast between the coverage was that Russia blamed Ukrainian corruption on its wealthy business leaders and revealed that even though Russia went through similar power struggles, they are now fine and it did not lead to a corrupt government. The Ukrainian point of view stated that their had always been turmoil between Ukraine and Russia and how Russia could have played a significant role in the downward spiral of the Ukrainian government. They both express different point of views with the same information. This leads people to believe a specific side about their government and not to have an open opinion about what actually happened without bias.

 

 

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