Monday, September 8, 2008

News from the other side

If any of you recall, during our first class we discussed Russian news/propaganda for a minute when I introduced myself as being from Russia, and I thought maybe it would interest people to see some of the articles I was referring to. The main site I like to look at is - if the name seems familiar at all, it's because Pravda was the name of the main Soviet newspaper, which I've seen referenced a lot in pop culture (I once heard a joke - what's black and white and read all over? Answer: Pravda), though this isn't the exact same one because that Pravda was closed down when the Soviet Union fell, although apparently some of the editors/writers of the Russian Pravda were connected to the Soviet one.
What I think is especially interesting though when looking at these is thinking just how closely "politics" and "media" really are - in this case, wars are not always secluded to a battlefield, and there are more than just soldiers, politicians, and diplomats involved. The whole idea of "hearts and minds", more often than not, is a strategic reality.
Now, I'll forewarn you: Pravda is known for being a tad bit more sensationalistic and nationalist than other sources, but it really gives a good representation on how people in Russia (as well as Russian people in the U.S, such as most of my relatives) tend to think - other sources such as or are more discreet but for the most they share the same opinions.
So here's a few articles I thought were really interesting. And please remember: while they are kind of funny, a lot of people take them really seriously, and have the same reaction of "what propaganda!" when they read Western news. Always at least two sides to a story...

Russia Stands Up From Its Knees
Russian FM: Georgia's Treacherous Attack
Western Media Blatantly Misinterpret Conflict in South Ossetia
Cindy McCain Visits Serbian Kosovo (opinion article)

P.S In researching the history the Pravda, I found a funny Russian saying that had to do with the name of Pravda (which means "truth"), and the name of the other important Soviet newspaper, Izvestia (which means "news") - v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy, which means "In the truth there is no news, and in the news there is no truth." Cynical, but considering some of these stories as well as the one on Iran posted before, it has some truth to it...

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