Russia: escalation in media cinema
Russia: escalation in media cinema

Propaganda, Sovereignty of Interpretation and Possible Progress in the Information War between Russia and the West

The Telepolis Salon "Russia – Escalation in Media Cinema" with the guests Matthias Brockers and Prof. Dr. Michael Meyenfound in the Munich Lovelace on 16. May 2018 instead. The doyen of all conspiracy theory experts in Germany, Matthias Brockers, is author of the book "We are the good guys. The views of a Putin-understanding or how we are manipulated by the media". Michael Meyen is a professor at the Institute for Communication Studies and Media Research at LMU Munich and a member of the Critical Communication Studies Network. His latest book: "Breaking News: The world in a state of emergency". We show the livestream of the talks with the following discussion.

We have a truth problem with Russia. It makes even the doubt go crazy. The good old western "School of doubt" as a method to find the truth does not help much, if the doubt itself is made out as the devil of the Russian destabilization method.

Russian propaganda is centrally based on sowing uncertainties and undermining certainties, it is warned. From this point of view, any demand for clear evidence of Russia’s responsibility for poison attacks in London or chemical weapons attacks by Syria’s allies plays into the hands of Russian propaganda. A dilemma. Who gains the advantage?

There is no other country to which the Western media is so committed. And it cannot be claimed that this is done objectively. No other country is considered to have such sophisticated super-villain skills as Russia.

When suspicion turns against Russia, it gets a rough playing field. Those who read Western newspapers learn that orders for sabotage of democracy and human rights go out from the Kremlin all over the world and, last but not least, that in Russia’s calculation Syrian civilians pay far less than the "Butcher of his people", the torture tyrant Bashar al-Assad, remains in power.

Cunning and trickery made in Russia make this planet dangerous, is the common conclusion from countless reports and comments since the Ukraine and Crimea crisis in 2014. Since then, people often like to talk about the "Russian danger" spoken, declarations then it does not need much more. Even elementary school students are convinced that Putin shot down the Malaysian passenger plane with the flight number MH17. Since the Crimea referendum in March 2014, the NATO staff and the German Defense Minister von der Leyen have been increasingly warning about Russia’s covert operations and its aggressive hybrid warfare.

To position oneself to Russia is a challenge in a difficult present, which requires to be in the picture about everything with constant change. Unlike in the movies or history books, it is not clear what the outcome of the conflicts will be, how they are to be assessed, whether it is just a matter of verbal muscle games, blobes, or even a matter of a military conflict "Political theater", or whether it is preparatory war propaganda. The fact that the third world war appears more and more frequently in the discussions is a sign of communicatively escalating times.



Putin is often portrayed as the boss of a neo-totalitarian repressive regime in Russia and the leader of a whole series of strongmen who have gained new attractiveness – a simple image, but one that seems to work and is also subject to articles addressed to critical readers ("Be demanding!") are addressed.

Russia is again a world power and the media, which teach us most of what we then know almost exclusively from reality, have overwhelmingly agreed on an image that sees in Putin’s Russia a (war) threat.

What attitude do we want to take when we talk about Russia?? To be immune against manipulations of the rough consensus and in any case to be smarter than the mainstream, which has an anti-Russian slant? At the same time more philanthropic than the die-hard Putin fans who still declare every authoritarian crackdown in Russia and every bombing raid in Syria a necessity?

The revived Cold War finds an important stage in the media. The battle is for the sovereignty of interpretation. Who has the power to give us his "Story" as the more credible one, how does he do it?? What’s new in the info-war between the West and Russia almost 30 years after the "End of the old Cold War history"? Does the fictional now have greater persuasive power with the new media possibilities?? Can we learn something from the propaganda battle??

At the Telepolis-Salon the mentioned questions shall be clarified for the time being. The competent guests invited to the discussion with Florian Rotzer and Thomas Pany will take care of that: the doyen of all conspiracy theory experts in Germany, Matthias Brockers, author of the book "Theories of the Russian Economy" "We are the good guys. The views of a Putin expert or how the media manipulate us", and Michael Meyen, professor at the Institute for Communication Studies and Media Research at LMU Munich and member of the Critical Communication Studies Network. His latest book: "Breaking News: The world in a state of emergency".