"Coverage of the Russian-speaking minority in Latvian-language news media and its role within Russo-Latvian socio-political relations"

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Type

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
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Thesis sponsors
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
Award date2017
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Abstract

This thesis explores the ways in which Latvian-language news media represents the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia and how these representations impact on the relationship between Latvian and Russian speakers in Latvia. Through an assessment of six Latvian-language news media sources, the thesis offers an understanding of the type of stories published and broadcast in Latvian-language news media. Furthermore, the thesis also analyses the Latvian-language newspaper coverage of the Language Referendum in 2012. By
assessing the ways in which the referendum was discussed, the thesis establishes links between the representation of the Russian-speaking minority and the representation of Latvian national identity in the media. The analyses of the Latvian-language news media are then furthered by an analysis of interviews conducted with Latvian speakers, in which the respondents were asked to discuss their understanding of both the media and the relationship
between Latvian and Russian speakers in Latvia.
The thesis concludes by offering a clear outline of the way Latvian-language news media constructs stories, both those discussing Russian speakers and related issues, as well as the stories which aim to promote Latvian national identity. Furthermore, by reflecting on the interview data, the thesis also highlights existent perceptions and the way they are perpetuated
by Latvian speakers, contrasting such notions with those expressed in the Latvian-language news media analysed throughout.