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Media and Communication ; 10(2):287-300, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1934777


For over 20 years, Russia has been within the top five most attractive countries for immigrants. Before the pandemic, the federal policies that stimulated the immigration of cheap workforce contradicted the public perception and the media coverage of immigrants as problematic communities. Unlike labor immigrants, the EU refugees from the Middle East were depicted as a challenge for the disunited and unhospitable EU, and re-settlers from Donbass were portrayed highly sympathetically. These differences remain virtually unstudied. We explore the coverage of immigrants and refugees in Russia during the Covid-19 pandemic to see whether, under its impact, the coverage was equal and humanistic rather than different and politically induced. Based on content analysis of 12 Russian federal and regional textual media and four TV channels in 2020, we show that the differences described above have persisted and even intensified during the pandemic, supported by pro-state media, with only marginal counterbalancing from oppositional news outlets. The discourse about labor immigrants pragmatically focused on immigration-related problems for businesses and the state, channeling the authorities’ position on immigrants as “objects of proper care,” while the EU refugees were depicted as “objects of improper treatment.” In both discourses, immigrants were equally deprived of their subjectivity. In general, the immigration-related issues were not a major focus, especially for regional media, and the pandemic has not led to the re-humanization of immigration coverage.

Media International Australia ; 177(1):139-143, 2020.
Article in English | Sage | ID: covidwho-843200


In April to June 2020, Russia passed through a major COVID-19 lockdown which, as elsewhere, has led to a rise of online connectivity and co-practice. We argue that several online mass-participation activities by Russians during the lockdown have grown into examples of contributive action. As a type of connective action, contributive action is based upon individual motivation to partake in unorganized personal action. However, its focus moves from connection-and-action (mostly impossible during lockdowns) to online projects where user participation-by-contribution turns an activity into socially and/or politically meaningful action. In Russia, activities based on contributive action, such as virtual protests or online Victory Day celebrations, came in place of connective action at a time when offline collectivity was unavailable or minor. They also served as a way back to normality in relations between the society and the state, as well as a means for social coping with the crisis.