• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

Change in the Coverage of the Chechen Wars: Reasons and Consequences

Javnost - The Public. 2000. Vol. 7. No. 3. P. 39-54.

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.