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Polarisation and propaganda have never been higher on the agenda. In the future, we will look back on this as the decade of "values-based" conflicts — whether it's the 2016 US presidential election or the information war between east and west.

Here at oDR, we're interested in putting polarisation and propaganda in context — media ethics, standards and ownership — to uncover what's really at stake. Read activists, researchers and journalists here about what's going inside Eurasia's media.

A day watching Turkmen television

In Turkmenistan, people will do anything to avoid watching their tightly-controlled state media. This journalist spent a day glued to the screen to find out why.

How does Russian TV propaganda really work?

New research shows that Russian state media’s influence is by no means total. Most people are capable of watching television news critically — provided they’re given the opportunity to do so. Русский

For Moldova’s journalists, surveillance is the new norm

Digital and personal surveillance has become a fact of life for Moldova’s journalists. My story is the tip of the iceberg. Русский

“Inciters, deceivers, slaves”: Kyrgyzstan’s president takes aim at the press

New moves against opposition politicians and the press are meant to scare the last bastion of Kyrgyzstan’s civil society into submission. Русский

 

The Kremlin’s so-called “partners”

For the Kremlin’s friends in the west, the reality of Russia’s actions is finally sinking in.

Goodbye, Radio Vesti

kalnysh_0.jpgUkraine’s media is caught in a political crossfire. In this situation, everyone loses — journalists, citizens and the country itself. Русский

 

What the Russian theatre critics won’t tell you

This new Moscow online journal is devoted to theatre. But it’s more like an activist project than a traditional arts magazine. Русский

Listening to Russia’s female migrants

How a new multilingual magazine in St Petersburg is giving a voice to female migrants from Central Asia.

Where now for Ukraine’s brave new journalism?

Three years on from the start of Ukraine’s democratic revolution, freedom of speech still isn’t valued by the authorities. And there’s only more ways to shut down debate. Русский

The whole pravda about Russian propaganda

Are articles about Russian propaganda now more widely read than Russian propaganda itself? A roundtable discussion. Русский

Kazakhstan’s thin red line

How the trial of veteran journalist Seitkazy Mataev heralds an even bleaker future for freedom of speech in Kazakhstan. Русский

Bulgaria: how not to mistake Russian propaganda for Russian policy

Bulgaria’s recent presidential elections are a case study in the power of disinformation, but not in the way you think. BulgarianSerbian

In Russia’s media, censorship is silent

A new survey of 100 Russian journalists reveals their perceptions of professional challenges, objectivity and freedom. Русский

Crimea: freedom of speech turns to freedom of silence

Crimea has had no independent media for two and a half years now — a Crimean journalist speaks out about the situation on condition of anonymity. Русский

The disappearing journalists of the North Caucasus

My ChecheIMG_2095.JPGn colleague Zhalavdi Geriyev has been imprisoned. How many more journalists will join him behind bars?

 

Forced limbo: how Azerbaijan prevents journalists from leaving the country

Many authoritarian regimes would banish troublemakers. But in Azerbaijan, dissidents and critical journalists are prevented from leaving the country. 

The terror against Ukraine’s journalists is fuelled by political elites

13640714_1111597985577751_6152925088005036304_o.jpgThe inaction of Ukraine's law-enforcement institutions and unrestricted hate speech by top officials is enabling further violence against the country's journalists.

 

Who do I call if I want to speak to "pro-Russian forces" in Georgia?

In Georgia, whether you're in opposition or in power, you can always call your opponent an agent of the Kremlin.

Listening to the “voices” in August 1991, or the media we need today

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The events of August 1991 weren’t just an unexpected win for democracy. They were a reminder of the role of mass media for people who suddenly lost access to information. Русский


Over the barriers

Think-tanks, newspapers and state agencies make it their work to ratchet up superpower tension. For Russia and the US, it’s time to transcend these intermediaries and speak face-to-face. Русский

Could crowdfunding – yes, crowdfunding – save journalism in partly free societies?

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After the Cold War, our attempts to encourage independent media in transition states didn't have the success we hoped. Could crowdfunding be part of the answer?

 

Putin and Trump’s bad bromance

The recent leak of emails from inside the US Democratic Party have led to allegations that Trump is a Kremlin agent. This is clickbait conspiracy at its best.

Kazakhstan: the limits of authoritarian crisis management

Violent attacks on state institutions have shaken the Nazarbayev regime in recent weeks, exposing its fixation with information control over state management.


Russian journalism’s double white lines

A recent leak from a leading Russian media outlet has sparked a bitter debate about censorship and professional ethics, exposing how fragmented Russia’s journalist community truly is. Русский

Russia, America, it's time to talk face-to-face

During the late 1980s, superpower leaders demagnitised international confrontation by speaking directly to the other side. Why shouldn't we do this again? Русский

In Ukraine, not only heroes deserve justice

A Ukrainian blogger sentenced for his scandalous views on the conflict in the Donbas has just been released. Whatever his shortcomings, Ruslan Kotsaba deserved our solidarity.

Way down in Pankisi

Georgia’s Pankisi Valley has gained a reputation for violent extremism in recent years. But the international community’s attention isn’t just unwanted, it’s harmful. Русский

Brexit: the view from Eurasia

Whether you’re in Mariupol or Margate, politics has become an organic part of the tabloid press. Our media should change to tackle this.

Life after facts: how Russian state media defines itself through negation

The image of “Russian propaganda” as a powerful machine where all cogs and wheels work in harmony is not entirely accurate — and here’s why. Русский

Ramzan Kadyrov, John Oliver and the power of ridicule

As we hunt for the Chechen leader’s cat online, are we falling into the dictator’s trap? 

Critical thinking at (the) stake: Ukraine’s witch hunt against journalism

In the two years since Ukraine’s Maidan protests, Ukrainian society has become increasingly politically active — with unintended consequences. РусскийУкраїнською

Review: Marc Bennetts’ “I’m going to ruin their lives”: Inside Putin’s War on Russia’s Opposition

For years, we’ve seen Russia in black-and-white terms. This new book on the Putin regime and its discontents puts people first. 

In Estonia, we should be careful not to overstate the impact of the information war

The Baltic States are now seen as the next frontline in Russia’s hybrid war. But the political preferences of ethnic Russian communities are more complicated than meets the eye. 

Happy 25th birthday, TV-2, or the rise and fall of independent Russian TV

This month TV-2, an independent TV channel in the Siberian city of Tomsk, turns 25 years old. It hasn’t been on the air for 18 months. Русский

Could a union do anything to protect Russian journalists?

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Physical attacks and management interference have put Russian journalists' safety — and their ability to work freely — back on the table. A new union will have to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. Русский

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