The Instrumentalisation of Mass Media in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes - Evidence from Russia`s Presidential Election Campaigns of 2000 and 2008
Focusing on the case of Russia during Putin's first two presidential terms, this book examines media manipulation strategies in electoral authoritarian regimes. Which instruments and approaches do incumbent elites employ to skew media coverage in favor of their preferred candidate in a presidential election? What effects do these strategies have on news content? Based on two case studies of the presidential election campaigns in Russia in 2000 and in 2008, this investigation identifies the critical internal mechanisms according to which these regimes work. Looking at the same country while it transformed from a competitive into a hegemonic authoritarian regime, allows a diachronic comparison of these two regime types. The book explicates the subtle differences between competitive and hegemonic regimes, different types of media manipulation strategies, the diverging extent of media instrumentalization, various interactions among state actors, large business owners, the media, and journalists, the respective effects that all these factors and interactions have on media content, and the peculiar types of bias prevalent in each type of regime.
This deep exploration of post-Soviet politics is based on extensive review of documents, interviews with media professionals, and quantitative as well as qualitative content analyses of news media during two Russian presidential election campaigns.