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Media and the Ukraine Crisis

Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict


Mervi Pantti

How are media and communications transforming armed conflicts? How are conflicts made visible in the media in different national and transnational settings? How does the media serve as a means by which
various actors manage and communicate conflict?

These are some of the questions addressed in this book. Using a variety of disciplinary perspectives and analytical approaches, contributors discuss the complex, multi-level Ukraine conflict as it is imagined and enacted in and through various media. Covering a wide range of media forms and content, including television news, newspapers, PR campaigns, and social media content, they offer new, empirically grounded insight into the ways in which traditional mass media and new media forms are involved in narrating and shaping conflict.

This book is suitable for students of conflict and media courses in journalism, media and communication, politics, security, and Russian and Eastern European studies.

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Chapter Ten: Media Diplomacy and the Coverage of the Ukrainian Conflict in German, Polish and Russian Magazines


Media Diplomacy AND THE Coverage OF THE Ukrainian Conflict IN German, Polish AND Russian Magazines


In current studies on how the media cover armed conflict, mass media are said to be not only important in the reporting of it but have also been identified as being co-constitutive of the ways conflicts develop (Eskjær, Hjarvard & Mortensen, 2015). In this comparative analysis of German, Polish and Russian weekly political magazines, we analyse the interpretative frames that have been used to identify responsibility for the development of the Ukraine conflict and to assess the validity of the political action taken by those governments.

We examine the coverage of the Ukraine conflict in leading political magazines from Poland, Germany and Russia from the perspective of media diplomacy. Specifically, we analyse the coverage of opinion–forming magazines by using both Robinson’s (2000, 2001, 2002) “policy-media interaction model,” which places particular emphasis on manufacturing consent, and Gilboa’s (2001) “media-broker diplomacy model”. When examining the coverage of international conflict, mass media can be treated as political actors that also engage, directly and indirectly, in conflict negotiations and resolution. In Gilboa’s (2001) theoretical model, “media-broker diplomacy” refers to the temporary role of the media as mediators or “diplomats” engaged in international conflict negotiations and resolution. The concept of “media diplomacy” refers to how the media are used by political elites and mediators to influence public opinion, to advance negotiations and to mobilise...

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