Online talk on Russian media in January: Politicization of environmental agenda and practices of media professionals in Russia

In January, Mika Perkiömäki and Olga Dovbysh from the University of Helsinki will present their research “How is politicization of environmental agenda affecting practices of media professionals in Russia?“, where they discuss the impact of political and media regimes on environmnental journalism in Russia.

Online talk will be organized in Zoom January, 11 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you want to participate and get emails about the next online talks, please leave your contact information here until January, 10 noon: registration form. If you registered for Online talks or RMLN email list before, no need to register again, we’ll send you the information.  

Research summary: Climate change has become an important part of global and national politics. The Russian economy is highly dependent on extracting fossil fuels that are the main source of greenhouse gasses, and Russia is also home to more than one-fifth of the world’s forest areas that work as carbon sinks. Therefore, Russia’s climate agenda has considerable global significance. Russian media inevitably are getting more concerned on the topic of climate change, and environmental reporting is becoming a significant part of journalistic professional practices.

This research explores how environmental and climate change related issues are getting politically contextualized in Russian media and what impact it has on the framing of the environmental problems by media professionals in Russia. Based on the hierarchy of influences model (Shoemaker & Reese 2013) we aim to trace the relationships between individual work practices and routines of media professionals, involved in environmental reporting, organizational structure of media outlets, and journalistic ideology as part of the social system.

At the Online talk in January, we present the design of this research, share some cases of environmental reporting in Russian media, and discuss how this work contributes to a general discussion on environmental journalism in different countries and media systems.

Speakers’ bio: 

Mika Perkiömäki, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. His field of expertise covers Russian cultural and media studies, ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. His dissertation ‘Imagined Riverography of Late Twentieth-Century Russian Prose’ (2021, Tampere University) is an ecocritical study on meanings of the river in Russian natural-philosophical prose of the late Soviet period. He has also studied representations of nature in early Soviet literature of the Pomors, is a member of the Tampere Research Centre for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC), and the editor-in-chief of Idäntutkimus, the Finnish review of East-European studies. Currently he studies practices of mediatized knowledge production and distribution on fossil and renewable energy and climate change in Russia as part of FLOWISION.

Dr Olga Dovbysh is a postdoctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. She works at the intersection of media studies, critical algorithm studies, and Russian media studies. In her previous research, she examined challenges of algorithmic journalism in Russia and beyond. From July 2021, she works in FLOWISION where she studies the mediated knowledge production on environmental issues in Russia and Finland. Dovbysh has extensive experience of conducting fieldwork in Russia, where she interviewed numerous journalists, editors, media managers, and other media practitioners. Her recent works have been published in, for example, JournalismSocial Media + SocietyDemokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization.

Moderator: Dr Katja Lehtisaari (Tampere University)

Online talk on Russian Media is a collaborative initiative between Russian Media Lab Network, University of Helsinki, and Tampere Research Center for Russian and Chinese Media.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash