NJC research project will map Russian media

First meeting of the Russian media project group. Left to right: Signe Van Zundert, Malcolm Dixelius, and Irina Merkina

In March 2016, the Russian news site sputniknews.lv was shut down by Latvian authorities, calling it a tool for Russian propaganda.

Latvia Blocks Russian Sputnik Site As Kremlin Propaganda Tool

Same month, after 48 years of producing radio for Russian speaking minorities, Swedish Radio cancelled its Russian service

Русская редакция прекратила свою работу

There are no indications the two events are related.

Topical research
But they both raise a question about how Russian speaking populations get their news – from Russia? – from Russian language media or media content produced in the West?

NJC as a part of its 2016-17 contract with the Nordic Council of Ministers now starts a research project to map out the Russian and Russian language media content in North West Russia, the Nordics, and the Baltics.

Both sides have described the situation as an “information war”. Mapping the battlefield will create a backbone for deeper analysis and case studies.

Project group
The research will be carried out by a project group of three highly qualified journalists and academics – all Russian speaking:

• Malcolm Dixelius, Swedish journalist (project manager)
• Irina Merkina, Russian journalist living in Sweden
• Signe Van Zundert, Danish MA in East European Studies

The project is expected to run through the end of 2016.

By Ole Rode Jensen