Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Liudmila Voronova (Gävle University, Sweden)

Ultimate Gendering of the Image of Russia: Political Journalism in the Times of Conflict in Ukraine

Army marching towards the European capitals, missiles with sarcastic yellow smileys on their boards, arrows depicting the distance between Moscow and the potential targets of Russia's "friendly" invasion – the TV news cast by the national Pyatyj channel of the Russian television (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SemPHeiamBo) raised a broad discussion both inside and outside of the Russian borders. Should this and similar messages be read as an outright threat to the West, a mockery, or as populist flirting with the Russian citizens (see Schreck 2015)? From the perspective of gender media studies, understanding political journalism as "gender-politics" in itself (Kitzinger 1998), such messages can be viewed as an ultimate case of gendering in political journalism (Voronova 2014). Represented by thousands of male soldiers, Russia appears as a man, or even the Man – ready to penetrate and explode, come and take, enter and appropriate. This paper explores political news broadcast on the Russian state-controlled TV-channels – Pervyj, Rossiya-1, Rossiya-24, Russia Today and NTV starting from January 2015. Year 2015 is chosen due to two reasons. First, the news constantly follow the continuing conflict in Ukraine and escalation of the tensions between Russia and Europe. The conflict here is viewed as an accelerator for masculinization of the image of the country. Second, this year sees the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, which becomes yet another reason for discussions of the military image of Russia. The news are analyzed with the use of multimodal discourse analysis (Wildfeuer 2014) and some elements of feminist critical discourse analysis (Lazar 2005). The study applies intersectional perspective (Davis 2008; McCall 2005) and observes a broader tendency in the Russian political news of constructing a homogeneous image of Russia as a Slavic, heterosexual, orthodox Christian man. Keywords: Russia, gendering, political journalism, masculinization, conflict