Abstract

Despite the rise of the Internet, state-dominated media—especially television—remain a crucial tool for regime control in authoritarian societies. Governments in China and Russia are the forefront of the state media model, but such systems dominate in countries as diverse as Azerbaijan, Iran, Rwanda, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. To achieve dominance state media seek to influence four audiences: regime coalition elites; the populace at large; Internet users; and the opposition and civil society. The authoritarian media strategy is not designed to block everything, but instead is aimed at obstructing news about politics or other sensitive issues from consistently reaching key audiences. The Internet may offer a freer alternative to state-dominated media, but the Internet's fragmented character makes it a poor match for the disciplined messaging of authoritarian regimes that have a single-minded focus on self-preservation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 71-85
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-17
Open Access
No
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