Keeping channels open or screening out? The digital practices of Baltic Russian-speakers during the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Jānis Juzefovičs (Coresponding Author), Triin Vihalemm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Inspired by Couldry’s conceptualisation of media-related practices, the authors investigate the ways Baltic Russian-speakers manage their digital information-seeking (sources of news) practices and interaction (communication partners). Amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the ensuing tensions between Russia and the West, we consider how these digital practices lead to ideological heterogeneity or homogeneity. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has put the transnational affiliations and practices of Baltic Russophones under pressure. This paper therefore asks how the polarised political environment and securitisation of the cross-border media practices of Baltic Russian-speakers by the national political elite has shaped how individuals respond by keeping channels open or screening content out. Based on a mixed-method study of the digital practices of Russian-speakers living in Estonia and Latvia, the authors argue that practices supporting digital homophily and digital heterophily are not mutually exclusive but appear in specific configurations. The avoidance of counter-oppositional views (screening out) is not absolute but rather mixed with practices that open channels from time to time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-283
Number of pages22
JournalRussian Journal of Communication
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords*

  • Baltic Russian-speakers
  • digital heterophily
  • digital homophily
  • Russia-Ukraine conflict
  • social media

Field of Science*

  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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