Srpska politička misao 4/2019
The Role of Information War in the Strengthening of Stereotypes about Russia in the Western Political Space
Negative perceptions of Russia as “the Other” in societies belonging to the Western political tradition have been shaped in a long historical perspective and have their own cultural and geopolitical matrix. These stereotypes mostly perceive Russia and its population through collectivism, authoritarianism and impulsiveness. Media and information policies play an indispensable role in shaping stereotypes in the modern and postmodern era. Therefore, the aim of this research is to point at the role of media discourse in supporting and forming negative stereotypes about contemporary Russia. In the introductory part of the Paper, the problem of stereotyping the notions of Russia and the Russians in the Western political space is contextualized, and then the case study on the empirical basis describes the role of the so-called Western media in supporting the established stereotypes in modern times. The main narratives of the information war between the European Union and the Russian Federation were used for media mediation and interpretation of events on the international scene in which the Russian Federation was the main actor during the year of sanctions (2014) and immediately afterwards (2015). We conclude that in the observed period there was a mutual deterioration of the images among the citizens of the EU and RF, while the leading media sacrificed the principle of impartiality of reporting.
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