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Is There a Global Public Sphere? Media Framing of the Russia-Georgia Conflict of 2008

Abstract

It has been argued that transnational communication technologies lead to the formation of a global public sphere (Volkmer, 2003). Using a framing analysis, this article examines whether signs of global public deliberation are present in U.S. and Ukrainian media coverage of the Russia-Georgia military conflict of 2008. Several popular national dailies and weeklies are analyzed, as well as niche periodicals of diverse political orientations. The study shows that U.S. media predominantly blame Russia; Ukrainian periodicals distribute responsibility among Russia, Georgia, and the United States. Pro-Russian views, popular in Ukraine, are ignored by U.S. news outlets. The exclusion of pro-Russian views from U.S. public discourse leads not to mutual understanding, but to animosity on the part of pro-Russian Ukrainian media toward the United States. 

Olga Baysha

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