Local Dimensions of Media Freedom: A Comparative Analysis of News Media Landscapes in 33 Russian Regions
- 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. 393-418
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- Additional Information
This study explores the local media landscapes of present-day Russia by comparing 33 carefully selected regions. It adopts the theoretical approach to analyzing publics under authoritarianism suggested by Toepfl (2018) and analyzes the leading mediated publics in these regions along three dimensions: (1) environments; (2) participants; and (3) discursive practices (with a focus on the level of political criticism tolerated by the publics). In big cities, leadership-critical publics are visible in online news media, while the media of small towns experience tighter state control. VK news groups and Instagram accounts play a significant role in the media landscapes of all the regions studied.