Television and Presidential Power in Putin’s Russia
By Tina Burrett
Routledge – 2010 – 300 pages
Routledge – 2010 – 300 pages
As a new president takes power in Russia, this book provides an analysis of the changing relationship between control of Russian television media and presidential power during the tenure of President Vladimir Putin. It argues that the conflicts within Russia’s political and economic elites, and President Putin’s attempts to rebuild the Russian state after its fragmentation during the Yeltsin administration, are the most significant causes of changes in Russian media. Tina Burrett demonstrates that President Putin sought to increase state control over television as part of a larger programme aimed at strengthening the power of the state and the position of the presidency at its apex, and that such control over the media was instrumental to the success of the president’s wider systemic changes that have redefined the Russian polity.
The book also highlights the ways in which oligarchic media owners in Russia used television for their own political purposes, and that media manipulation was not the exclusive preserve of the Kremlin, but a common pattern of behaviour in elite struggles in the post-Soviet era. Basing its analysis predominately on interviews with key players in the Moscow media and political elites, and on secondary sources drawn from the Russian and Western media, the book examines broad themes that have been the subject of constant media interest, and have relevance beyond the confines of Russian politics.
"Relying on interviews and content analysis, Burrett painstakingly details how Russian television changed over time… the book is a detailed and sophisticated analysis of political communication under Putin in Russia. Recommended [for] Upper-division undergraduates and above." - L. J. Roselle, Elon University
"This is a very detailed book, exploring chronologically the role of media and television from 2000 to 2008 and demonstrating how Putin managed to right the distressed ship of the Russian Duma and presidential elections… Burrett insightfully address[es] the fundamental ambiguities at the heart of Putin’s effort to consolidate Russian state power." - Hessam Vaez-Zadeh, University of Tehran; SEER, 90, 1, January 2012
1. Covering the President: An Introduction 2. Television and the 2000 Presidential Election 3. Elite Conflict and the End of Independent Television 4. Controlling the News Agenda 5. National Television and the 2003 State Duma Election: Coverage of the Candidates, Corruption and Khodorkovsky 6. Securing the System and a Second Term: Television Coverage 2004 Russian Presidential Election 7. Television in Putin’s Second Term
Tina Burrett is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Temple University in Tokyo, Japan.