The paper considers media technologies of reality interpretation in the context of priming and framing, as well as environmental factors, which influence, directly or indirectly, the media interpretation of events. The author of the paper studied 35 materials published in the period from September 27 to November 11, 2020 and concluded that the aspects of coverage and interpretation of events in the media under consideration was different and able to shape the readership’s opinion in assessing the military actions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The important point of the Armenian-Azerbaijani agenda in Rossiyskaya Gazeta was that it distanced itself from the assessment of the warring parties. On the other hand, Novaya Gazeta tended to spark readers’ interest in the war and make them adopt a stance, being open to critics of Russia’s foreign policy from among experts and journalists.
The Armenian-Azerbaijani war, or Azerbaijan’s Operation Iron Fist, entered the agenda of international politics and attracted worldwide attention on September 27, 2020, when large-scale hostilities resumed for the first time since the ceasefire agreement signed on May 12, 1994. All this time, negotiations had been held with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group, but a peace agreement was never reached. The parties repeatedly violated the ceasefire, but the hostilities stopped every time, in particular with the mediation of the Russian Federation. Currently, there is a trilateral statement of November 9, 2020 in force, signed by the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Russia.
Coverage of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in the Russian media is relevant due to many factors: bringing Russian peacekeeping forces into the conflict zone, the presence of millions-strong diasporas of the warring parties in Russia, which closely monitor the information strategy of the Russian media covering the events. Both parties regard Moscow as a moderator and chief arbiter in the settlement of the conflict. The number of Russians who closely followed the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 increased significantly compared to 2016, when clashes between the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan took place in the Karabakh region. According to a study by the ANO Levada Center, this number was 30%, i.e., almost a third of the population of Russia. Thus, there are serious grounds to believe that the assessment of the events in the South Caucasus is largely shaped by the information received from the media.
Theory and literature
In the course of the study, an attempt was made to grasp the nature of classical media effects—the attribute agenda-setting theory (priming) and framing, which reveals means of manipulating public perception.
The activities of the media related to priming and framing are characterized by the use of an irrational approach to explaining reality: knowledge of political reality is substituted with its biased interpretation.
In accordance with the attribute agenda-setting theory, some factors (attributes) of reality are emphasized in the media, while others are smoothed out or ignored altogether. A semantic attribute unit (topic, aspect of a topic, problem, idea, etc.) is mainstreamed for some time; as a result, the audience forms and maintains a certain attitude towards a particular person, event, etc. Repetition here contributes to interpretation. (Garbuznyak, 2016). However, even if the share of a particular attribute in different media is the same, there may be different representations and assessments in its interpretation. Therefore, the attribute agenda-setting theory alone is not enough for a full analysis. There is a need for another media effect theory—framing.
Framing as a media technology is one of the most controversial terms in political communication—there are several definitions of it. In the context of our study, we use the definition given back in 1989 by W. Gamson and A. Modigliani. According to them, a frame is the core idea of a communicating text that reveals the essence and meaning of the main story line of an information message (Gamson, Modigliani, 1989). Some scholars believe that this definition contains the articulation of a problem situation, preferred ways of resolving it, and certain moral judgments (Entman, Matthes, Pellicano, 2009; Wahl-Jorgensen, Hanitzsch, 2009). It should be noted that frames are manifested in the text in the selection of vocabulary, metaphors, examples, descriptions, visual images, obvious or latent methods of argumentation, in the substantiation of cause-and-effect relations, hidden cultural subtexts, placing the described object in the space of cultural archetypes and values common for a given society(Van Gorp, Graber, 1988). D. Scheufele argues that at least five factors may potentially influence how journalists frame a given issue: social norms and values, organizational pressures and constraints, pressures of interest groups, journalistic routines, and ideological or political orientations of journalists (Scheufele, 1999). A. Kazakov, elaborating the idea of the Western researchers, added the political factor to the list (2014).
In general, framing and priming are considered by many scholars as interpretation technologies with high manipulative potential (Voinova, 2006; Ponomarev, 2010; Garbuznyak, 2016).
The purpose of this paper is to identify the possibility of covering the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the context of the above theories without raising the issue of a specific impact on the audience. The author has tried to analyze the differences in media approaches by examining the presence and prevalence of various attributes (topics and subtopics) and frames. The proposed study is the first attempt at a comparative analysis of the specifics of coverage of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan by two high-quality publications—Novaya Gazeta and Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The empirical basis of the study is made up of the information and analytical materials (information coverage, reportage, articles, investigations, interviews, commentary) on the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan published between September 27 and November 11, 2020. The chronological framework of the study is due to the period of active development of the conflict.
Both periodicals are published in both print and online versions. We focused on the print editions (the online editions differs slightly in content and number of texts), since the dynamics of the development of each of the analyzed stories is more important than the comparison in absolute terms of the frequency of reference to each topic, which is always higher in independent online editions.
A total of 35 materials were reviewed: 22 from Novaya Gazeta and 13 from the daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta, published three times a week, surpassed the daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta in terms of the number of materials on the topic under study.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta is a daily newspaper of the Government of the Russian Federation, which sets the focus of the newspaper’s perspective. Since foreign policy is determined by the authorities, all statements and initiatives of top officials of the state are given the status of important news.
Novaya Gazeta, on the contrary, takes a strong oppositional stance, which is manifested in its coverage of the Kremlin’s foreign policy issues. A special focus in the Armenian-Azerbaijani agenda of the independent newspaper is given to the public opinion in the warring states, opinions of regular contributors and independent experts.
The materials in the area of interest of our study were sorted according to the following criteria: page number, publication date, genre, title, main topic of the material (attribute), personality and position of the author, frames contained in the material, selection of experts.
There were twice as many articles in Novaya Gazeta as in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Moreover, Novaya Gazeta initiated interviews and commentary with experts concerning the Armenian-Azerbaijani war, regardless of the pattern of the events. Accordingly, its reports from the combat zone were frequent.
The distribution of material across the pages is one of the parameters of potential impact on the audience. In Novaya Gazeta, the topic under study was featured on the front page of the newspaper five times—and not only in the Society and Politics sections, but also in Culture.
In Rossiyskaya Gazeta, only one article on the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia appeared on the first page, and another one was published on page 2. In all other cases, this topic was featured only in the categories “Government” and “In the world”—pages 6 and 8, respectively. This fact gives grounds to say that Novaya Gazeta emphasizes the importance of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan through the layout of its issues to a greater extent than Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Particular attention should be paid to such indicator as the distribution of articles over time.
During the specified period of research, the dynamics of the release of materials on the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in the two publications coincided twice. Otherwise, Novaya Gazeta always surpassed Rossiyskaya Gazeta in terms of quantitative indicators.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta did not cover the Armenian-Azerbaijani war at all in the periods from October 8 to 18 and from October 21 to November 9, while the independent publication kept up the frequency of materials on the war until October 26. After the commentary by Editor-in-Chief Dmitry Muratov on October 26 and up to the announcement of the cessation of hostilities, Novaya Gazeta touched upon the topic of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict only twice, and even then in the context of international politics. D. Muratov explained the downward trend by the impossibility of putting one-sided opinions on the situation around the Armenian-Azerbaijani war, such as “Karabakh Uncensored” , in the printed edition and on the website of Novaya Gazeta.
The crucial breakdown of the media agenda happened on November 9—after the announcement of the trilateral statement on the cessation of hostilities signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. As a result, this newsworthy event was covered on the front page of both the government and the independent newspapers. In particular, the number of materials in the November 11 issue of Novaya Gazeta increased dramatically (see Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. Distribution of materials in Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Novaya Gazeta across issues
In our opinion, such indicator as the personality of the author deserves special attention. The authors of the materials in Rossiyskaya Gazeta (11 out of 13) are employees of the publication: Igor Dunaevskiy, Kira Latukhina, Tatyana Zamakhina, Olga Onezhskaya, Yuri Kogalov, Petr Likhomanov. There were also one article by an expert (Fedor Lukyanov) and one by a public figure (Mikhail Shvydkoy). As we can see, the share of professional analysts among the authors in Rossiyskaya Gazeta turned out to be small. Novaya Gazeta, on the other hand, actively used expert journalism, involving observers Pavel Felgengauer, Yulia Latynina, expert Arkady Dubnov, scientists Askold Ivanchik and Andrei Zubov. Of the 22 materials, 12 were written by the publication’s profile correspondents—observers, special correspondents, even the Editor-in-Chief, which affected the qualitative and quantitative parameters of the materials.
Genre-wise, the majority of the materials in Novaya Gazeta were commentary and articles, and in Rossiyskaya Gazeta—information coverage. The number of analytical articles and feature stories significantly prevailed in Novaya Gazeta in comparison with Rossiyskaya Gazeta. The government publication did not address such information genres as interviews and reportages from the combat locations (see Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Distribution of materials in Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Novaya Gazeta by genre
The influence of the environment on the interpretation process
We divided the topic under study into several subtopics (attributes), depending on the coverage of its aspects. Here we identify the stories of the Russian media devoted to the Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
- The hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia
- The role of Russia
- International mediators (USA, France as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group)
- The Turkish factor
- Other (this includes stories on the history, the defense industry of the warring parties, individual war-related events and processes, calls for peace).
As the result of the study shows, the list of important aspects within the framework of the “Armenian-Azerbaijani war” thematic block in the publications under consideration differs both in the total number and in the proportion.
Fig. 3. Distribution of publications in Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Novaya Gazeta by thematic blocks (pcs)
For instance, the percentage of the “The role of Russia” attribute in Novaya Gazeta was 4.5%, while in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, it was 23%. The government publication focused mainly on the calls to put an end to the war by representatives of the legislative bodies of Russia, on the war-related statements of the top political leadership of Russia, on the negotiation process initiated by the Russian Federation. Rossiyskaya Gazeta relaying the Kremlin’s policy can be explained by the fact that the political process related to the Armenian-Azerbaijani war was interpreted by the political elite. In this context, the main aspects of the agenda were set by the authorities, and Rossiyskaya Gazeta played the role of a communication platform helping to convey this agenda to the audience. Novaya Gazeta offered an independent version of coverage based on criticism of Russia’s position.
The difference was also observed in the “International mediators” block. In Rossiyskaya Gazeta, it accounted for 23% of all materials, while in Novaya Gazeta, the mediation efforts of the world community were covered only once, which amounts to 4.5% of all articles for the period under study.
The “Turkish factor” block deserves a separate analysis, which accounts for 22.7% of articles in Novaya Gazeta and for 15.3% in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. In Novaya Gazeta, the emphasis was made exclusively on the “negative” role of Turkey in the war. Official Ankara was accused of “recruiting mercenaries from the Middle East and sending them to Azerbaijan,” “intent to commit a mass extermination of Armenians in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan,” an expansion in the area of Russia’s interests, “plans to restore the Ottoman Empire and Great Turan”, etc. A similar picture was painted by the government newspaper in one of the two articles devoted to the “Turkish factor” block. But, unlike Novaya Gazeta, Rossiyskaya Gazeta in that article only repeated the material of the Kommersant newspaper on the role of Turkey in the war, without openly demonstrating the political views of the editorial board or the author, taking the position of an observer. The author of the other article, “The Turkish Boom and the Future of Eurasia”, expert Fedor Lukyanov used both media effect and analysis and argumentation as an explanatory scheme of his text. In this regard, the position of the author is interesting, as he essentially interprets the events in a neutral key (Turkey’s stance on the war is not supported, but not criticized either): “Russia calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to diplomacy, whereas Turkey not only took Baku’s side, but also insists on a victorious end to the war. Despite their obvious antagonism in many areas, Russia and Turkey prefer to avoid open animosity. On the contrary, in almost each of the hot conflict zones (the South Caucasus is an exception for now), the two countries continue intensive negotiations at various levels in order to, if not agree, then at least separate their interests, and avoid head-on confrontation.” The explanatory scheme proposed by the author, in fact, does not interpret Turkey’s foreign policy as anti-Russian, but emphasizes the future of Russian-Turkish relations—one of the defining aspects of the formation of a new political picture in Eurasia.
The “Hostilities” block includes 3 materials from Rossiyskaya Gazeta, which accounted for 23%, and 4 articles from Novaya Gazeta, 18% of all materials in the period under study.
The largest portion of materials was in the “Other” block (50% of articles in Novaya Gazeta and 7% of articles in Rossiyskaya Gazeta). The content of “Other” did not make separate blocks because materials of this kind were found in only one publication. In Novaya Gazeta, they were devoted to individual war-related events and processes in Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the history of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. In the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, “Other” materials included one article on unmanned aerial vehicles, which played an important role during Operation Iron Fist, and a feature piece calling on the parties to work for peace.
The greater number of materials on the history of the war and the general situation in Novaya Gazeta was explained, first of all, by the fact that the publication at the beginning of the war gave floor to representatives of the opposing sides. The second reason is that the newspaper’s correspondent Ilya Azar was sent to Armenia and had the opportunity to report from the war zone. During the period under study, 5 materials were devoted to the war-related events and processes in Armenia, and only one material—to the events and processes within Azerbaijan (the interview with political emigrant Arif Yunus known for his criticism of the Azerbaijani authorities). As already mentioned, this topic was not featured in Rossiyskaya Gazeta at all.
According to A. Kazakov, the personality of newsmakers cited in the materials can also be a mechanism for influencing the audience’s opinion (2015). Counting the references to newsmakers and experts in our case, we get the following picture (see Fig. 4).
Fig. 4. References to opinions of other people in the materials of Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Novaya Gazeta
References to deputies, senators and representatives of the executive branch were made more often in Rossiyskaya Gazeta (10 times against 1 in Novaya Gazeta). Since newsbreaks from the Kremlin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Duma, and the Federation Council fed mainly two subtopics—”the role of Russia” and “the international community”, there were noticeably more references to these stories and, accordingly, references to Russian officials in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Novaya Gazeta made more references to the opinions of local residents from the disaster zone, which had to do with the significant number of reports from Armenia and Karabakh. The publication emphasized that it did not support any of the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and called for its immediate cessation. However, during the period under study, all special reports from the combat zone were made from the Armenian side, which could have introduced certain bias into the coverage of the conflict (see Fig. 4).
Thus, the media under study presented attributes (subtopics) in different proportions. Interest in certain topics, events, newsmakers and disregard of others may be a result of the concept of either publication and the principles openly declared or implied by the editorial board, but it may also be caused by editorial dysfunctions (Garbuznyak, 2015), which, however, are not the subject of our analysis.
Content of broadcast frames
As the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the study show, not all the attributes of the agenda in the two publications coincide. Moreover, even if the percentage is the same, the content may contain different interpretations. Rossiyskaya Gazeta functioned de facto as the Kremlin’s press service, drawing newsbreaks for almost all of its stories from the official agenda. Much attention was paid to the statements of the top officials, to the Kremlin’s initiatives in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s agenda was largely driven by the information disseminated by the authorities (Sherel, 1993). The government publication normally set a ready-made agenda formed at the political level; interpretations were only slightly refracted at the editorial level. Therefore, the following interpretations have been entrenched in Rossiyskaya Gazeta from the first days of the war: Russia opposes a military solution to the crisis, Russia is not taking sides, the Kremlin is the main arbiter in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani crisis. Turkey’s position on the war is not supported, but not criticized, while Russia welcomes the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries to end hostilities.
Classic framing in the materials of Rossiyskaya Gazeta was identified only once, primarily because there were only two analytical and feature pieces, the texts of which use elements of irrational interpretation. An example of framing is the aforementioned analytical material by F. Lukyanov “The Turkish Boom and the Future of Eurasia”, devoted to the analysis of Turkey’s foreign policy: “International relations experts have long detected a tendency towards the emancipation of medium-caliber players. States that were on the sidelines under the dominance of large countries are becoming more assertive. Besides, they look less and less at the ‘giants’, guided by their own interests and ideas. However, there is a significant reservation: this applies first and foremost to those states that rely on the great-power tradition in the past. The most vivid example is Turkey.” In his conclusion about Turkey’s foreign policy, the author relies on the quality of Ankara’s relations with the European Union: “The failure in the European direction put Ankara on a different path—transforming Turkey into a great power after restoring its influence throughout the former Ottoman Empire.” In this article, the frame was activated by drawing a historical analogy with the Ottoman Empire.
In the article by Mikhail Shvydkoy “Honey Made from Bitter Herbs” (October 7, 2020), the image-symbol used was a means of judgment (reasoning): it did not perform the function of framing (did not highlight a certain vision of the problem, identify its causes, give it an assessment or offer a solution): “Ever since that day, the most vivid image of war has been haunting me—the absolute silence of the boundless dead field. We walked across that field, full of deadly shells, but it was not the fear of exploding at a careless movement that painted the picture of a catastrophe, but the absence of any sounds. There were no cicadas singing, no bees buzzing, no dragonflies cutting through the air. I had seen cities and villages mutilated by war, but it was this dead silence that outweighed all other man-made nightmares.” As we can see, this image only made the text more vivid and emotional. We believe that Rossiyskaya Gazeta, guided by the interests of the authorities, tried to avoid models of irrational interpretation of reality in its coverage of the events in the South Caucasus.
Novaya Gazeta demonstrated maximum independence in shaping the Armenian-Azerbaijani agenda, and this approach affected the frames its materials were broadcasting. We identified the following frames in Novaya Gazeta:
- Turkey lays claims to the area of political interests of Russia;
- The Azerbaijani-Turkish alliance wants to “carry out ethnic cleansing”;
- Russia is betraying Armenia;
- The war in Karabakh is a clash between “Christianity and religious fanaticism”.
The above frames were present in the materials of the publication throughout the entire period under study. It is worth noting that the frames were mostly formed not by correspondents, but by individual subjects, mainly the central figures of the materials, that represented the Armenian side. It would be more correct to call such frames “frames through the media” (Kazakov, 2014).
For instance, an article describing the role of Turkey in the Armenian-Azerbaijani war introduces a frame in the form of a metaphorical generalization that carries a negative assessment: “Today Erdoğan’s Turkey, which has quickly turned from an outpost of European democracy in the Middle East into the strongest nationalist dictatorship with a focus on restoration of both Ottoman greatness and pan-Turkic ambitions, lends a helping hand to Azerbaijan.”
Metaphorization (symbolization) is used to kick-start the already existing frame: “Hotheads in Armenia, who call for the secession of Karabakh from Azerbaijan, should take a cold shower, and so should those Azerbaijani and Turkish politicians who want to ‘resolve the Armenian issue in Karabakh once and for all’ and expel all Armenians from there, thus opening up the opportunity for Karabakh to become the new Kosovo, in line with the provisions of UN Resolution 2625 on protection against genocide.” In the next example, the metaphor forms a frame when the position of Russia on the Armenian-Azerbaijani war is assessed extremely negatively by residents of Karabakh: “Putin is selling weapons to Azerbaijan, but he isn’t helping us [enough]. I understand that this is a business, but if we are brothers, then they must understand that these weapons will be used against us. People have already started saying that Russians are white Turks. Why won’t you help us?”
A metaphor often appeals to a historical precedent: “Everybody here is sure that Turkey, who is helping Azerbaijan, has decided to end what it started at the beginning of the 20th century.”
Historical analogy is a common type of media framing. It was found mainly in reports and analytical articles of regular contributors and experts: “UAVs are flying here all the time, and Stepanakert already looks like Stalingrad.” There are also other types of expression aimed at shaping an image: “Azerbaijanis are resentful nomads from Central Asia, this is not their ancestral land. They even went to Vanga, and she told them that this was not their land and they would lose”; “Everyone should know that this is a real genocide. This is not a war! This is a second Armenian genocide!”
Azerbaijanis and Turks are compared to religious fanatics who are a threat to Russia: “‘If thousands of Islamists from the Middle East flood in here?’ Stepan peppers me with rhetorical questions. ‘They can easily get across the mountains into Dagestan. Basayev once fought here on the side of Azerbaijan, and then he made that mess in Chechnya. History repeats itself, but I hope Russia has learned its lessons in the 1990s.’”
In Novaya Gazeta, there were also frames in the form of image-symbols with a pronounced assessment. In particular, frames were used to shape the image of the top officials of the Russian Federation: “Turkey gives Moscow an opportunity to play the role of the main peacemaker, gives Putin a chance to show himself as a great Russian tsar, who reconciled everyone once again and now resumes his role of the main guarantor of security in the South Caucasus.” Novaya Gazeta resorted to framing to interpret the goals of Russia’s foreign policy more than once: “Perhaps the Kremlin believed that a military defeat would put an end to Pashinyan, just as the military defeat in 2008 in one way or another put an end to Saakashvili’s reforms.”
Since the target audience of Novaya Gazeta is considered educated, intelligent and familiar with serious analytics, the frames were sometimes presented in the form of complex analogies: “It is clear that the old NKR, armed to the teeth, will no longer exist, but nobody knows today what this Artsakh Mitrovica will be like in five or ten years.”
Our analysis of the materials shows that, Novaya Gazeta actively uses the framing technology in interpreting the events around the Armenian-Azerbaijani war. Frames are reproduced in the materials in the form of image-symbols of a high emotional intensity, secretly influencing the audience’s perception.
Analyzing the specifics of coverage of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Novaya Gazeta and Rossiyskaya Gazeta, we can conclude that the two publications used different versions of the presentation of reality. Dominating in their materials were interpretations that manifested themselves in the list of “important” problems and the representation of specific events in the context of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war. The dominance of some interpretations over others caused relevant bias, the impact of which on the audience can become the subject of a separate analysis.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta was more inclined to provide fragmented coverage of events. Materials appeared in the official gazette of the Government of the Russian Federation after the fact, after official announcements. For instance, the newsbreak for the first article “Karabakh under fire” (September 28, 2020) was the series of negotiations between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his foreign counterparts in connection with the dramatic aggravation of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The article “The Cannons Never Stop” (September 1, 2020) begins with a statement by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova on Karabakh. And the publication “The Peace Line” (October 2, 2020) is devoted to the joint statement of the leaders of Russia, the United States and France on Nagorno-Karabakh, in which the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group condemned the escalation of violence and called on Yerevan and Baku to resume negotiations. The title of the article “Russia, France and the United States are preparing a joint statement” (October 6, 2020) in itself speaks of the Kremlin’s official agenda. The information coverage “The Meeting Point is Moscow” (October 20, 2020) highlights the initiative of Russia to have talks between Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Moscow. The list goes on. Unlike Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Novaya Gazeta tried to keep its materials in sync with the actual military operations, relying on the opinion of special correspondents, independent experts and scholars. At the same time, the independent publication broadcast its own interpretation of the political process around the Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
An important feature of the Armenian-Azerbaijani agenda set in Rossiyskaya Gazeta is its distancing from the value judgments of the warring parties. The bulk of the materials on the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Rossiyskaya Gazeta consisted of speeches, initiatives, statements of the official Russian agencies, which set the tone in the agenda setting. This shaped the “official” interpretation of the political process at the level of selection of events that corresponded to Russia’s stance in the conflict.
Novaya Gazeta, on the other hand, provided a platform for critics of the government’s foreign policy from among experts and journalists. The publication focused on the tragic consequences of the war, highlighting their significance, calling on the parties to work for peace. Nevertheless, bias was present here as well—primarily in the materials from the combat zone, where references to local population, central figures of those reports, gave a clear advantage to one of the parties in the presentation of their political views.
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Anar M. Gasanov, PhD in Philology, Assistant Professor at People’s Friendship University of Russia
(The paper was published in Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 10. Zhurnalistika, 2021, No 3)
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