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News framing of Yandex-presented Russian news in three countries

Patricia Cruz

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The study “Is all Russian news the same? Framing in Russian news media generated by the Yandex news algorithm for the United States, Estonia, and Russia.” by Heidi Erbsen and Siim Põldre from University of Tartu was a study on news framing comparing how Yandex news algorithm displayed Russian news in United States, Estonia, and Russia. 

Research on Russian media influence abroad has shown that it is not misinformation that is the threat, but the subtle biases and suggestive tones in the framing of those news. Thus, ‘myth-buster- or anti-fake news tactics are unlikely to counter it.

Previous studies, while being about news algorithms, have not looked at how the same algorithm, in this case the Russian-owned Yandex, operates across borders. This study aims at analyzing the differences in headlines across countries, and thus the operation of the algorithm.

Shanto Iyengar has looked previously on agenda-setting. According to Iyengar, agenda-setting is not a straightforward process on the ability of the news outlet to frame an issue. He further found two larger framing strategies: “thematic framing” and “episodic framing”.

In thematic framing, the issue is presented in news as being related to general trends or public policy, and ongoing in nature, and are more impersonal. In contrast, episodic framing embodies personal experience and particular instances. Thematic framing is related to societal responsibility, and episodic framing to individual responsibility. 

A total of 800 headlines were collected from a total of 162 outlets. There were roughly the same amount of headlines from Russia, United States and Estonia. They were systematically collected from 19 November 2018 to 23 March 2019 using separate browsers with set location preferences. 

The first finding was that in many cases, the Yandex headline different vastly from the headline in the actual text after clicking the link. This was particularly the case with Russian headlines, as in ⅘ of them there was a ‘clickbait’ headline that was different from the actual one. In US, this was roughly ⅗ , while in Estonia it was only ⅕.

When it comes to issues, Russian headlines focused on Ukraine and oil. Both Russia and United States also had plenty of international relations. Social welfare and local elections took priority in Estonia. United States appeared to be somewhat ‘in between’ Russia and Estonia in having local elections and public safety like Estonia. Estonia was unique in the focus of social welfare and Russia in Ukraine (note: the headlines were collected before the full-scale war that started in 2022).

Framing strategies differed across the countries. It is expected that thematic framing and episodic framing occurs at roughly same ratio, that is 50-50. In Russia, episodic framing was slightly less common at 42.2%, with 57.8% thematic. In US, thematic strategies were even more prevalent at 63.6%–36.4%. Estonia, on the other hand, had more episodic framing, 56.6%–43.4%.

Looking at how different issues were framed, in all countries interest stories were overwhelmingly framed using the episodic lens (87.5–91%), as were stories of public safety (69–86%). International relations stories were framed more thematically, but in Estonia, even this was close to 50-50.

The authors ponder on the meaning of the findings in light of Iyengar’s suggestion that episodic framing suggests an individual or unique issue, and thematic social and normalized issue. They suggest that the Estonian tendence to use the episodic lens is used as a tool to depoliticize or isolate issues as single occurrences.

In contrast, Ukraine and International relations were particularly presented using the thematic lens in US and Russia, reflecting the fact that these countries are major World powers and the issues are presented as systemic or as parts of a larger discourse. 

The findings also open the door for more questions and subsequent research, as there were also cases where similar issues used a different frame in different countries. What is the reason for this, what is there about the issues that prompts a different frame? 

In conclusion, the authors state that despite the common framing across issues, the particularities in episodic and thematic framing show that the Russian information space remains distinct across the borders.  

The article “Is all Russian news the same? Framing in Russian news media generated by the Yandex news algorithm for the United States, Estonia, and Russia.” by Heidi Erbsen and Siim Põldre is in Journalism. (free abstract).

Picture: Untitled by Artem Beliaikin @belart84

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Journalism

The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout

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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.

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Journalism

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

Alice Trout

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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.

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Journalism

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

Alice Trout

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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.

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