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Television and Presidential Power in Putin’s Russia


edited by: Tina Burrett
published by
: Routledge
ISBN: 9780415838146
Kindle $35.30 | Hardcover $131.71 | Paperback  $44.59

Book's frontpage

As a new president takes power in Russia, this book provides an analysis of the changing relationship between control of Russian television media and presidential power during the tenure of President Vladimir Putin. It argues that the conflicts within Russia’s political and economic elites, and President Putin’s attempts to rebuild the Russian state after its fragmentation during the Yeltsin administration, are the most significant causes of changes in Russian media. Tina Burrett demonstrates that President Putin sought to increase state control over television as part of a larger programme aimed at strengthening the power of the state and the position of the presidency at its apex, and that such control over the media was instrumental to the success of the president’s wider systemic changes that have redefined the Russian polity.
The book also highlights the ways in which oligarchic media owners in Russia used television for their own political purposes, and that media manipulation was not the exclusive preserve of the Kremlin, but a common pattern of behaviour in elite struggles in the post-Soviet era. Basing its analysis predominately on interviews with key players in the Moscow media and political elites, and on secondary sources drawn from the Russian and Western media, the book examines broad themes that have been the subject of constant media interest, and have relevance beyond the confines of Russian politics.


Table of contents

List of figures
List of tables

1.  Introduction
•  Putin and the media: promoting the presidential vertical
•  Presidential power
•  Government power over the media
•  The Russian media market and its audience
•  Methods

2.  National television and the 2000 presidential election
•  National television coverage of the March 2000 presidential election
•  The unofficial election campaign, September 1999 to February 2000
•  The December 1999 Duma elections
•  The official presidential eletion campaign, 3-24 March 2000
•  ORT
•  RTR
•  NTV
•  Conclusion

3.  Elite conflict and the end of independent television
•  Television and the transition paradigm
•  The struggle for television: a conflict between elites
•  Putin verses the oligarchs: old foes and new alliances
•  A new consensus: public and elite support for Putin's media policy
•  The case of Vladimir Gusinsky and NTV
•  The case of TV6
•  Support for Putin in the journalistic community
•  Television and the Dubrovka hostage crisis
•  The case of TVS
•  Conclusion

4.  Controlling the news agenda
•  Agenda-setting as a source of presidential power
•  Ownership structures and editorial practices
•  Methods
•  Study results
•  Quantitative findinigs
•  Qualitative findings
•  Conclusion

5.  National television and the 2003 State Duma elections

•   Television coverage of President Putin
•   Television, the fight against corruption and Khodorkovsky
•   Television and conflict within the Putin administration
•   Television coverage of opposition political parties
•   Conclusion

6.  National television and the 2004 presidential election

•  Television coverage of President Putin
•  Television coverage of the presidential challegers: a weak and divided opposition
•  The presidential debates and political advertising
•  Television news coverage of Putin's challengers
•  Conclusion

7.  Television in Putin's second term
•  More trouble for NTV
•  Television and the docial benefits reform
•  Television and the Beslan hostage crisis
•  Ren-TV
•  The Ukrainian presidential election, October to December2004
•  The 2007 and 2008 elections
•  Conclusion

8.  Conclusion
• The future of the Putin system


Public Lecture

Tina Burrett's public lecture of "Television and Presidential Power in Putin’s Russia"  web link


Review by L.J. Roselle, Elon University :

"Relying on interviews and content analysis, Burrett painstakingly details how Russian television changed over time… the book is a detailed and sophisticated analysis of political communication under Putin in Russia. Recommended [for] Upper-division undergraduates and above."

Review by Hessam Vaez-Zadeh, University of Tehran:

"This is a very detailed book, exploring chronologically the role of media and television from 2000 to 2008 and demonstrating how Putin managed to right the distressed ship of the Russian Duma and presidential elections… Burrett insightfully address[es] the fundamental ambiguities at the heart of Putin’s effort to consolidate Russian state power."

Review by Stephen Hutchings, University of Manchester:

"This book will surely establish itself as a major point of reference for scholars and students of Russian media and society, and of the politics of postcommunist transition."


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