Media Elites in Post-Soviet Russia and their Strategies for Success

In: Russian Politics
Elisabeth Schimpfössl School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, United Kingdom,

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Ilya Yablokov School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, United Kingdom,

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Media managers are key in the relations between, on the one side the authorities, to whom they enjoy privileged access, and, on the other side the newsroom, the functioning of which they define. Contrary to the popular view, held both in Russia and abroad, that the Kremlin controls the majority of the country’s media, we argue that media managers have a fair bit of agency and are players in their own rights, able to shape their audiences’ attitudes and modify individual as well as collective behavior. To be able to exert this power they must, however, tread a very fine line: they have to demonstrate adekvatnost’ (literally adequacy, but better translated as appropriateness, or ‘the right feel for the game’) and demand adekvatnost’ from their journalists and editors. Focusing on two dimensions – elite theory and the concept of adekvatnost’ – this article analyses the data gleaned from interviews with a range of media managers.

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