The Kremlin’s Echo Chambers: Why Russians Trust Propaganda and Reject Independent Media
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the Kremlin’s propaganda has become especially aggressive and outrageous. Yet, most Russians, as before, seem to be satisfied with state-run media, and only a few of them have noticed the Kremlin’s crackdown on the remaining independent journalists. In his talk, Anton Shirikov will consider why Russians find the Kremlin’s propaganda credible and appealing and what propaganda narratives and techniques they are especially vulnerable to. He will also discuss why independent journalism failed to counteract the Kremlin’s disinformation, and why common-sense news literacy strategies are often ineffective against authoritarian propaganda.
Anton Shirikov is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Russian Politics at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2022. Before academia, he was a journalist and editor in Russian independent media. His current research investigates what makes citizens more vulnerable to propaganda and authoritarian state media and what tools they use to detect propaganda and disinformation. In other work, he has examined how Ukrainian oligarchs protect their wealth and how the Russian government and official propaganda responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. His analysis and commentary have recently appeared in The Washington Post, The Financial Times, USA Today, on PBS NewsHour, and in other outlets.
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 4 PM–5 PM (EDT)
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs (1957 E St NW) or Online