Foreign Agents in Russia - Doria

Foreign Agents in Russia - Doria


I divide the primary research materials so that with the first analysis chapter I use juridical

text which has its own special normative character compared to the media material I use later. The

juridical text – the NKO law – is an official document making solid statements that not only

Russians but foreign facets can use as their source of information and it is has more harmonized

discourses than the public debate. The Russian language media sources on their side are good in

describing the discourses in Russian domestic sphere whereas statements towards foreign public can

be inspected in a bit different point of view because there the issue has different platform of


Considering Russian media publications as my primary research material, I point out that the

Russian media is often considered fairly polarized in its attitudes towards politics. (Arutunyan

2009.) The uneven division of major pro-Kremlin and minor oppositional media is popularly

recognized although they still offer little space for the other camp's arguments as well. Thus there is

a hypothesis that the discussion is rather two-mentional, either the pro-Kremlin in supporting the

usage of foreign agents law and term, or the oppositional which is critical against it. Accordingly I

pick my sources from both sides of the traditional recognized division, still considering it possible

that there are more moderate and different approaches to the subject. From three primary research

sources two are generally considered pro-Kremlin and one oppositional. This is because there is no

Russian oppositional conventional media agencies that are directly directed to foreign audiences

that can be analyzed as such. The vast majority of Russian media is seen as pro-Kremlin (ibid.) so

the expected emphasis of such statements of foreign agents can be expected to match the overall

information flows in Russia. My research material does not include the less conventional media

portals of oppositional forces such as internet blogs because of the lack of my time resources and

the arguable emphasis such sources give to random individuals.

Despite of some established theories of Russian trust in their domestic media by for example

Nordenstreng, Vartanova ja Zassoursky (2001), Nikula (2006), Vartanova, Nieminen ja Salminen

(2009) ja Huttunen ja Ylikangas (2010), there is previous research according to which the Russian

nation has fairly high trust on their national media according to BBC research (2012 a, b). Despite

of the theoretical disagreement on the Russian trust on media information, the past idea of distrust is

currently contested and both recent and past research acknowledge media as an important part of

Russian everyday life, hence discourse describer and producer.

From the pro-Kremlin -considered sources I have chosen Ria Novosti group that is an

established leading Russian media holding company and it works under the Ministry of Press and

Information. It's official strategy is to provide news coverage considering all sides of the stories and

it has been visible in the material used in this research – both arguments criticizing and defending

views on foreign agents issue have been published by RIA Novosti. The company is a major owner

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