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The Messenger in the news

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, September 30
The Messenger is featured in a report compiled by Professor Hans-Georg Heinrich and Kirill Tanaev, both experts on post-Soviet political systems, on press coverage of last August’s Russia-Georgia war, alongside such equally prestigious international journals as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian and Le Monde.

Entitled ‘Georgia & Russia: Contradictory Media Coverage of the August War,’ the report analyses how far the leading free newspapers of different countries echo the line taken by their Governments. It follows on from a report on US newspaper coverage of the Iraq war, which concluded that the free press in that country did little more than repeat Government pronouncements rather than presenting alternative viewpoints for public discussion.

The report takes the coverage of the war and the lead up to it in 10 European and US newspapers between 3 July and 30 December 2008 and analyses it against the content of the official narratives of the war given by the Presidents of the two belligerent states. How pro-Georgian or pro-Russian a paper was, how balanced its coverage and how much its opinion varied over time are quantified by various statistical means.

Unsurprisingly the Rossiiskaya Gazeta, which is owned by the Russian Government, was the most pro-Russian in its coverage. Although Western media outlets were the most balanced they nevertheless took a largely pro-Georgian line, and even Le Monde, considered to provide the most balanced coverage of all, was generally pro-Georgian, although in all cases this position weakened during the period under review.

The full report can found on the website of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs,