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News framing of Yandex-presented Russian news in three countries

Patricia Cruz



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

License Unsplash. 

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The benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start

Alice Trout



In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. Between work, family, and other responsibilities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start.

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. By focusing on the present moment, you can calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts.

  1. Improves mental clarity

Practicing mindfulness can improve mental clarity and focus. It can help to clear your mind of distractions and increase productivity.

  1. Enhances self-awareness

Mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better. By being present in the moment, you can learn to recognize your patterns of thinking and behavior.

  1. Improves relationships

Mindfulness can help to improve relationships by increasing empathy and compassion. By being present with others, you can develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Set aside time

Set aside a specific time every day to practice mindfulness. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes per day to start.

  1. Find a quiet space

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a quiet corner of your home or a quiet park.

  1. Focus on your breath

Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air moving in and out of your body.

  1. Be present

Allow yourself to be present in the moment without judgment. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without dwelling on them.

  1. Practice regularly

Make mindfulness a regular practice. It takes time to develop the habit, but the benefits are worth it.

In conclusion, practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being. It’s a simple yet powerful practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and enhance our relationships. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you for it.

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How to create a perfect morning routine for a productive day

Alice Trout



Do you ever feel like your day has gotten away from you before it even starts? One way to combat this feeling is to create a perfect morning routine. Establishing a routine can help you start your day off on the right foot, and set the tone for a productive and successful day. Here are some tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.

Determine Your Priorities

Before you start creating a morning routine, it’s important to determine what your priorities are. What are the things that you want to accomplish in the morning? Do you want to exercise, meditate, or have a healthy breakfast? Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start creating a routine that includes them.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help establish a consistent routine and make it easier to stick to.

Take Time for Yourself

Many people feel rushed and stressed in the morning, but taking some time for yourself can help alleviate this feeling. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, taking time for yourself can help you start your day feeling calm and centered.


Exercise is a great way to start your day, as it can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whether it’s a quick jog, yoga practice, or weightlifting session, try to include some form of exercise in your morning routine.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can help fuel your body and provide the energy you need to start your day. Try to include protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables in your breakfast.

Plan Your Day

Taking a few minutes to plan your day can help you stay focused and productive. Make a to-do list or set priorities for the day, and review your calendar to make sure you’re prepared for any meetings or appointments.

Stick to Your Routine

Once you’ve created a morning routine that works for you, try to stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key, and sticking to your routine can help establish healthy habits and improve your overall productivity.

In conclusion, creating a perfect morning routine can help set the tone for a productive and successful day. By determining your priorities, waking up at the same time every day, taking time for yourself, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, planning your day, and sticking to your routine, you can create a morning routine that works for you. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

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10 simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in your daily life

Alice Trout



Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore 10 such methods that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress. It helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. You don’t have to engage in high-intensity workouts to reap the benefits. Even a brisk walk or light yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, and increase stress levels. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well-rested and refreshed.

Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to feel relaxed.

Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike in the woods to feel rejuvenated.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness meditation.

Listen to music

Music has a soothing effect on our minds. Listening to calming music can help to reduce stress levels. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes and listen to it when you feel stressed.

Practice yoga or tai chi

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. They can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Connect with loved ones

Talking to friends and family members can help to reduce stress levels. It can provide a sense of comfort and support during challenging times.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of life can help to reduce stress levels. Make a habit of practicing gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for every day.

Take breaks

Taking short breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress levels. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing or simply take a few moments to close your eyes and relax.

In conclusion, stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By incorporating these simple yet effective methods into your daily routine, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself should always be a top priority.

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