Freedom of Expression in Russia’s New Mediasphere

Mariëlle Wijermars, Katja Lehtisaari.

Freedom of Expression in Russia’s New Mediasphere (Routledge, 2019)

In recent years the Russian government has dramatically expanded its restrictions on the internet, while simultaneously consolidating its grip on traditional media. The internet, however, because of its transnational configuration, continues to evade comprehensive state control and offers ever new opportunities for disseminating and consuming dissenting opinions. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, including media law, human rights, political science, media and cultural studies, and the study of religion, this book examines the current state of the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and media freedom in Russia, focussing on digital media and cross-media initiatives that bridge traditional and new media spheres. It assesses how the conditions for free speech are influenced by the dynamic development of Russian media, including the expansion of digital technologies, explores the interaction and transfer of practices, formats, stylistics and aesthetics between independent and state-owned media, and discusses how far traditional media co-opt strategies developed by and associated with independent media to mask their lack of free expression. Overall, the book provides a deep and rich understanding of the changing structures and practices of national and transnational Russian media and how they condition the boundaries of freedom of expression in Russia today
Introduction: Freedom of Expression in Russia’s New Mediasphere. Part I: Frameworks for Freedom of Expression in Russia’s New Media. 1. The Occupation of Runet? The Tightening State Regulation of the Russian-language Section of the Internet. 2.The Blacklisting Mechanism: New-school Regulation of Online Expression and its Technological Challenges. 3. Formation of Media Policy in Russia: The Case of the Iarovaia Law. Part II: Reinventing Media Formats, Platforms and Networks. 4. The Networked Architecture of Media Freedom in Contemporary Russia: The Case of Urban Online Magazines. 5. Authenticity and Affect in Historical Reenactments of the Russian Revolution on Social Media. Part III: New Media and Fragmented Audiences. 6. Challenging the “Information War” Paradigm: Russophones and Russophobes in Online Eurovision Communities. 7. Reconsidering Media-Centrism: Latvia’s Russian-Speaking Audiences in Light of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict. 8.Sputnik i Pogrom: Russia’s Oppositional Nationalism and Alternative Right. Part IV: Tactics of Control and Subversion. 9. Imprisoned for a “Like”: The Criminal Prosecution of Social Media Users under Authoritarianism. 10. State Propaganda and Popular Culture in the Russian-speaking Internet. 11.Freedom of Expression and the Russian Orthodox Church. Conclusion.

Mariëlle Wijermars is a Researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland

Katja Lehtisaari is a University Lecturer at Media and Communication Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.

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