Change in the Coverage of the Chechen Wars: Reasons and Consequences
A dramatic change in media coverage of the wars in Chechnya from sharp criticism in 1995 to almost unanimous support in 1999 has at least one consequence and several causes. Both wars were presented by TV news as a series of disconnected actions, which can be easily visualised: separate battles and cases of people’s suffering. This helped to stop the first war, but the disappearing of the visualised actions in the midwar period lead to silencing the Chechen problem. Meanwhile, politicians learned from their mistakes and formed a consistent policy towards the media (which they lacked before). Furthermore, NTV channel, the major source of alternative coverage of the first war, has found itself much more dependent on various external forces after it voluntarily supported the incumbent in the presidential elections in 1996. One of the NTV executives has formulated what can be called the major result of its struggle for independent coverage: With our own hands we have created a monstrous system that gonna eat us.
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Cataclysms of the twentieth century enabled to speak about the cultural paradigm shift: the New Middle Ages began to crystallize. In this paper the rethinking process (mainly in economic but also philosophical discourse) of the meaning of labour is sketched. The importance of noneconomic sense of labour (which can be understood as Service) has been realized even in some branches of political economy. Self-centred homo economicus is regarded as secondary to unselfish homo faber. Different reasons of standing for this ideal are outlined.
The article considers the main trends in the contemporary media space and analyzes the coverage of Russia issues in online versions of USA Today and The New York Times. The ideas of M. McLuhan, D. McQuail, J. Van Deijck, M. Castells form the theoretical basis of the research. USA Today and The New York Times provide free access to most of their materials which are available for the computer, Iphone, and Ipad users. Video and slide-shows attract readers from all over the world. Russia became actual theme in 2014 in the US media, but it had been peripheral during the previous decade. Sochi Olympiad, Crimea unification with the RF, conflict in Ukraine, Putin, - those were the main topics of USA Today and The New York Times related to Russia. USA Today's coverage of Russian problems was more neutral and balanced compared to tough rhetoric of The New York Times. At the same time both newspapers view the country as an “alien”, but not an enemy.
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