Conference e-mail

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Galina Miazhevich (University of Leicester, UK)

The Nation Branding in the Post-Broadcast Era: The Case of RT

The paper uses the case of Russia’s international multi-national broadcaster RT (formerly Russia Today) launched with the direct support of Russian government in 2005 to explicate the changes in nation branding brought about by media convergence (Jenkins, 2006). It is established that RT promotes a distinct ‘counter-hegemonic’ brand of broadcasting. This paper looks beyond branding of RT and explores the nation branding of Russia by the broadcaster. It explores the spectre of strategies employed by RT and place them within the shift of RT’s policy from ‘informing others about events and life in Russia’ to those ‘who question more’. By looking at one year of RT’s coverage on the Republic of Crimea (2016) and using framing approach the paper explores RT’s branding of Russia as part of its counter-hegemonic ‘philosophy’ within the transnational convergent media environment. The study showed that RT’s strategies of nation branding involve positive direct and indirect strategies. Within its ‘counter-hegemonic’ remit RT uses direct and indirect assertions, omissions and silences. Despite lack of coherent framing, RT’s counter-hegemonic agenda ensures certian sustainability of the key narartive. RT relies on its remit alluding to continuous deconstruction and conspiratorial ethos. By continously challenging ‘corrupt and hypocritical western establishment’ RT implies an existence of the alternative power center—Russia— ‘holding it to account’. This reiterate the image of Russia as a barer of concervative values, a global and equal player in the world affairs. So, by ‘attacking’ the West, RT’s manages to assert a positive image of Russia. Thus, here the politics of attraction is based on a counterintuitive principle (i.e. negation implying positive values through the ‘deconstruction’ of an opponent).