Connect with us

Journalism

East Ukrainian media audiences and discussion modes

Patricia Cruz

Published

on

The article “Logics of Exclusion: How Ukrainian Audiences Renegotiate Propagandistic Narratives in Times of Conflict” by Olga Pasitselska from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was a discourse and conversational analysis of shared meanings among media audiences in Eastern Ukraine, and their interaction modes.

The context of the study was the pre-invasion Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Eastern Ukraine following the annexation of Crimea and the supported insurgency in Donetsk and Lugansk. The participants were from Dnipro, Dniprovske, and Pavlohrad. 

They formed focus groups for watching news, both Russian and Ukrainian, and having slightly guided conversations on them which were recorded. The news chosen were from TSN-Tyzhden (TSN week), a weekly Ukrainian news program from the nationwide commercial channel 1+1, and Voskresnoje Vremya (Sunday Time) from a Russian state-owned channel Perviy Kanal (First Channel). 

The agendas of the two channels were opposite: Perviy Kanal echoes the Russian state narrative while 1+1 is pro-Western and advocates for freedom from Russian influence.

The analysis focused on: “(a) the content of the constructed meanings, (b) the dynamics of agreement and disagreement during the discussion, and (c) the non-verbal cues that conveyed participants’ reactions toward the conversation’s content and dynamics” – to study the modes of discourse, and the logics of exclusion how these modes are maintained. 

It was revealed that there were three modes of interaction that were defined by communicative goals and logics that drive the selection and exclusion of each mode. The three modes were inquiry, narrative, and avoidance.

In the inquiry mode, the participants maintained an objective distance from the issue. They question, challenge, and argument as keying (as defined by Goffman 1974) the mode to that of critical inquiry. In this mode, the participants seek to establish a valid understanding of the events.

The discursive mechanism of exclusion in this mode involves the participants first establishing competence by, for example, claiming to read more news or by invoking a professional identity. Actual exclusion is performed through a demand of validation. 

All the logics may also fail. The inquiry logic is unsuitable for the expression of personal feelings and moral judgements, and it is also too challenging for disinterested participants. 

The second mode was the narrative one. In it, the participants adopt a collective identity and signal their loyalty to the ingroup. They affirm a certain worldview and impose shared norms upon others. They also become sensitized toward ideological narratives that threaten their collective identity. 

The threat to collective identity was what preceded the shift to this mode of normative discussion. Performances of moral indignation, disappointment, or even disgust often signal the shift. Invoking a sense of duty for the ingroup for example by repeated questioning or challenging imagined dissenters is also a part of the mode. 

The logic works by radicalization of discourse and the exclusion of ambiguous claims. The participants exclude such claims by applying ‘membership categorization’ (Sacks 1992) to clearly mark the boundaries of their group. In addition to ambiguous claims, claims that are promoted by the rival narrative are challenged. 

The narrative logic is maintained in face of such contrasting claims by ‘uncooperative language’. This involves repeated rhetorical questions, stoppers such as “so what?”, unelaborated exclamations (“yes!”, “no!”), and rhetorical upscaling and exaggerations. At this point, the debate becomes heated and emotional and there are multiple turn-taking violations.

When the narrative logic fails, it does so because of two reasons. First, it fails if the participants are unfamiliar with the narrative cues. Second, it fails when conflicting narratives are not accepted as basis of normative evaluation. In that case, there may be a switch to the inquiry mode when participants reject ‘simplification’, or when another narrative mode is invoked (such as virtuous poor people vs corrupt rich people), and there is a switch to the avoidance mode.

Lastly, there was the avoidance mode. In it, the participants detach themselves from the political world while seeking to maintain a sense of competence. The participants are motivated by a need to maintain sanity. The detachment differs from that in the inquiry mode, as here the logic of avoidance inhibits engagement and reasoning.

The keying in this mode is cynical or absurd. There are two variants: in the first, the participants express distrust toward the media, in the second, they signal an inability to deal with the political discussion. They conceive the conflict as ‘political’ and thus closed to their understanding and give up.

The mode works by participants constructing the realm of political information as dirty, corrupt and manipulative. In this mode, there are no ‘good guys’ and no one to feel solidarity with, and the participants adopt a ‘cynical chic’ (Eliasoph 1998) discursive position. 

The avoidance logic maintains itself by a shared political ignorance and powerlessness. The mode can be shattered by strong belief in narrative truth – switch to the narrative mode – or skepticism that dismantles equivocation, generalization, and conspiracist claims, shift to the inquiry mode. 

The study is not only interesting and topical in itself but also offers a new perspective on the deliberative potential of political discussion. Rather than simply assuming that participants have adequate expertise and dedication to democratic conversational norms, the discussion is contingent on the modes presented here.

For limitations of the study, the author notes that the focus groups may not be generalized fully to news audiences. In addition, there may yet be more modes of conversation that were not detected here.

The study  “Logics of Exclusion: How Ukrainian Audiences Renegotiate Propagandistic Narratives in Times of Conflict” by Olga Pasitselska is in Political Communication. (open access).

Picture: Unnamed Road, Ivano-Frankivs’ka oblast, Ukraine by Max Kukurudziak @maxkuk

License Unsplash.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Journalism

The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout

Published

on

Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian (www.theguardian.com) – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News (www.bbc.com/news) – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera (www.aljazeera.com) – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters (www.reuters.com) – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN (www.cnn.com) – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist (www.economist.com) – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com) – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica (www.propublica.org) – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

Continue Reading

Journalism

The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout

Published

on

Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

Continue Reading

Journalism

Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout

Published

on

As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending