State Information Contracts: The Economic Leverage of Regional Media Control in Russia
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 28, Number 3, Summer 2020
- pp. 367-391
- Additional Information
This research investigates media control in non-democratic regimes through the example of state information contracts, a leading form of state support for regional media outlets in today’s Russia. Using statistics on such contracts signed in 42 Russian regions in the period from 2011 to 2014, together with qualitative interviews with local media professionals, the article explores the role of these contracts in the regional media sphere and scrutinizes how they became an effective and stable tool for disciplining journalists and instrumentalizing the media in Russian regions during the 2010s. The research explores the transition from direct to structural control, as well as discussing the contextual differences between state interventions in the form of subsidies in democratic regimes and state contracts in non-democratic regimes such as Russia’s.