Reconsidering media-centrism: Latvia’s Russian-speaking audiences in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Martins Kaprans, Janis Juzefovics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the explanatory potential of media impact as a means to understand support for the strategic narratives communicated by the Russian Federation among Russophone audiences that reside outside Russian territory. In particular, the chapter explores the connections between the media preferences held by Latvia’s Russian-speakers and their geopolitical orientation within the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. By analysing a large quantity of survey data, this chapter illustrates the fragmentation of the Latvian Russophones’ media landscape as well as the diverse motifs that drive the consumption of particular media content. This media reality suggests that many among Latvia’s Russian-speakers are not necessarily directly exposed to the influence of Russia’s strategic narratives. In order to demonstrate the limitations of the frequently assumed media-centric approach, this chapter focuses on a wider variety of factors that can provide more compelling explanations of the Russian-speakers’ attitudes towards the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It is argued that the media impact on the Russophones’ geopolitical orientation can be better explained when connected to other conditional factors, such as the Russian-speakers’ socio-demographic parameters and various identity dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFreedom of Expression in Russia's New Mediasphere
EditorsMariëlle Wijermars, Katja Lehtisaari
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780429793349
ISBN (Print)9781138346659
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Russian-speaking minority
  • Ukraine crisis
  • Latvia
  • media repertoires
  • Geo-politics

Field of Science*

  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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