Media Resilience in Eastern Europe & Eurasia
Assessing media vulnerability to malign foreign influence
European and Eurasian countries have experienced greater efforts from foreign malign actors to influence their media narratives. AidData has developed a suite of tools to better understand the resilience of Europe and Eurasia’s media landscape in the face of these influence efforts.. This includes conceptualizing and quantifying media resilience, identifying top media ownership and the presence of Russia media outlets, measuring the sentiment of news content, and evaluating media literacy. These tools provide policymakers, practitioners, and scholars with better data with which to assess possible pathways for Russian influence of local media narratives.
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Regional Focus: Europe & Eurasia
What are the points of vulnerability and resilience of domestic media environments to foreign malign influence? AidData researchers sought to answer this question in former communist countries in Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia that have not yet joined the European Union (EU). These 17 countries sit at the crossroads of Russia’s sphere of influence and Western organizations like the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Some are full or associate members of the Russia-dominated intergovernmental organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States, while others are NATO members and remain EU candidates or potential candidate countries.
Media resilience is one of three of AidData's research focus in the Europe & Eurasia region. Learn more about our research on civic space and energy security in the region.
Coming April, 2023
Media Resilience Index
Developing a theoretically-driven conceptualization and taxonomy, AidData researchers measured three dimensions of resilience: journalists and media as content suppliers; citizens as consumers of that information; and government institutions as regulators. The resulting Media Resilience to Malign Influence (MRMI) index incorporates data collected to measure each of these three components for 17 E&E countries from 2010 to 2020, along with a composite score.
Released Weekly in April 2023
Media Ownership Country Reports
AidData researchers mapped out the presence of Russian state-owned media and the extent to which top domestic media outlets had known or suspected ties to the Kremlin across 17 E&E countries.. Each media ownership profile features a list of the top five outlets in TV, radio, newspaper, and the Internet, as well as a breakdown of both corporate and individual shareholders that highlights ownership ties to foreign entities and domestic government, especially Kremlin and Russian oligarchs close to the Kremlin. Furthermore, the profiles indicate the presence of 11 Russian state-owned media in these countries, including the TV stations Russia 1, RTR-Planeta, and TV Centre as well the physical presence of news agencies TASS and Sputnik.
Coming April, 2023
Media Literacy Survey Report
AidData researchers fielded a digital survey in 10 of the 17 E&E countries that asked 35 questions evaluating media literacy. If governments and media are captured by foreign actors, the last line of defense are citizens and their ability to identify and reject (or not) dis- and misinformation. AidData partnered with survey firm RIWI to leverage their novel Random Domain Intercept Technology to field the survey online, which mixed self-reporting questions about behavior and “right and wrong” questions to provide objective tests.
Coming April, 2023
Media Sentiment Analysis
Utilizing the top online outlets in the media ownership profile, AidData researchers scraped as many articles as possible to conduct sentiment analysis on keywords to indicate how favorably or not topics from the West, Russia, and even China were covered from 2019 to 2021.