ArchivedJuly 14 2022, 14:26 pm

Employees Say Russian State Media Resembles an “Army,” Coverage Mandated by Kremlin Officials

The New York­er is report­ing that cur­rent and for­mer employ­ees describe Russ­ian state media as an “army” with many foot sol­diers who nev­er ques­tion their orders. They added that some of the cov­er­age, direct­ly man­dat­ed by Krem­lin offi­cials, aimed at show­ing the inef­fi­ca­cy of West­ern sanc­tions against Rus­sia. Accord­ing to the arti­cle:

May 18, 2022 Cov­er­age is repet­i­tive not just from day to day, tele­vi­sion chan­nel to tele­vi­sion chan­nel; near­ly iden­ti­cal sto­ries appear in print and online media, too. Accord­ing to a num­ber of cur­rent and for­mer employ­ees at Russ­ian news out­lets, there is a sim­ple expla­na­tion for this: at week­ly meet­ings with Krem­lin offi­cials, edi­tors of state-con­trolled media, includ­ing broad­cast­ers and pub­lish­ers, coor­di­nate top­ics and talk­ing points. Five days a week, a state-con­trolled con­sul­tan­cy issues a more detailed list of top­ics. (The orga­ni­za­tion did not respond to a request for comment.)

Read the rest here.

The employ­ees say the list gen­er­al­ly con­tains six to ten dai­ly top­ics designed to sup­ple­ment the Min­istry of Defense’s war updates. They said top­ics fell into four broad cat­e­gories: eco­nom­ic, rev­e­la­to­ry, sen­ti­men­tal, and iron­ic. The unnamed employ­ees also said some of the sto­ries were designed to show that West­ern sanc­tions against Rus­sia had made life hard­er in Europe than in Rus­sia, with oth­ers alleg­ing that, in Amer­i­ca, jour­nal­ists would be pun­ished for telling the “truth” about the Unit­ed States. The list pro­vid­ed by Min­istry of Defense offi­cials also con­tained a sto­ry about Ukrain­ian refugees pur­port­ed­ly reveal­ing their crim­i­nal­i­ty by shoplift­ing in a West­ern Euro­pean country.

Recent report­ing by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) about the Russ­ian state media has included:

  • An April 2022 report that Switzer­land had not fol­lowed most of the rest of the West­ern world in ban­ning Russ­ian state-run news net­works, such as Rus­sia Today (RT) and Sputnik.
  • A May 2022 report that one of Russia’s top pro­pa­gan­dists in Latin Amer­i­ca had resigned from her job over Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine.
  • A July 2022 report that RT had side­stepped a Youtube ban by rebrand­ing its con­tent under a new name.


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