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Russia Today: Vladimir Putin's Weapon In 'The War of Images'

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the next-gen-propaganda dept.

The Media 254

dryriver sends in a story at Der Spiegel Online about news network Russia Today, and how it is becoming a powerful propaganda tool for Vladimir Putin to use against Western audiences. Quoting: "Since 2005, the Russian government has increased the channel's annual budget more than tenfold, from $30 million (€22.6 million) to over $300 million. Russia Today's budget covers the salaries of 2,500 employees and contractors worldwide, 100 in Washington alone. And the channel has no budget cuts to fear now that Putin has issued a decree forbidding his finance minister from taking any such steps. The Moscow leadership views the funds going to the channel as money 'well invested,' says Natalya Timakova, the press attaché to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. 'In addition, Russia Today is — and I hope the Germans will forgive me for this remark — significantly more modern than Deutsche Welle, for example, and it also has more money.' ... Russia Today sees itself as a champion of a global audience critical of the West. But it is also meant to amplify the self-doubts of Europeans and Americans who have been forced by recent events to wonder if their own countries — like Russia and China — are corrupt and in the grip of a pervasive intelligence apparatus. In any case, the station has a rare knack for propaganda. ... To spice up the news, directors sometimes use Hollywood-like special effects, such as a computer-animated tank that looks like it is rolling over the newscaster's feet or Israeli fighter jets that fly a virtual loop through the studio before dropping their bombs over a map of Syria."

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254 comments

IN SOVIET RUSSIA . . . !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44555807)

Former KGB eat Putin shit !!

Snowden is clearly in good hands (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44555825)

In 10 or 15 years, Edward Snowden will be remembered as a defector in the New Cold War during Putin's reign. Once enough Russians become unhappy with the puppet show, they will push Putin and Medvedev out.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (0, Troll)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44555949)

In 10 or 15 years, Edward Snowden will be remembered as a defector in the New Cold War during Putin's reign. Once enough Russians become unhappy with the puppet show, they will push Putin and Medvedev out.

Snowden's probably learning Russian so he can be a regular guest on Vlad's News Network, taking potshots at what locked-down, surveilled, liberty-starved nation the United States of America is (if he knows what's good for him.)

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (1)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 8 months ago | (#44556075)

We have an offer you won't refuse.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44556127)

We have an offer you won't refuse.

The Russian Mob makes the Mafia look like a load of summer campers. They don't even have to make the offer, just give him that cold, blue-eyed stare and he will volunteer because the alternative is finding himself accidentally in a diplomatic packet heading from Moscow to New York.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556303)

The Russian Mob makes the Mafia look like a load of summer campers.

Your average Russian holidaymaker-abroad makes the Mob look like a load of summer campers.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556641)

Vlad's Network has many shows in English. I'm sure he's learning Russian so he isn't ripped off at the local markets.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#44556053)

Putin might die before that of old age, despite his publicists publishing him as a youthful person.

Or maybe he dies leading some bear cubs to safety or some shit like that.

He might just as well fire all that russia today staff, it's not really doing shit for him and there's just too much shit happening/happened in russia for past decade that he can't just pile it under some other shit.

but a new russian revolt? nah. they won't do that unless he makes the mistake of increasing vodka pricing again - if you're not gay, if you don't have political ambitions, you still got more bread and vodka than you had after the fall of ussr so I don't think they're too keen to do anything. the russian neo nazi pussies certainly aren't going to do it(rise up), no matter how unemployed, poor and uneducated they are. since they're just pussies looking for someone weaker to pound on for no profit or any sort of gain. in that way russia has been quite pussified from the mob war days 20 years ago - even if you still can't trust the government(local or federal) in russia to not screw your business assets - and even Putin has seemingly no power to stop that(I reckon he at least realizes that's a thing that is keeping a lot - I mean a LOT of business out - you still can't be certain if your logistics-centre is allowed to be where it is even if you get all the permits needed prior to building it).

did you hear the funniest rumor about snowden yet? apparently dog the bounty hunter is going to cross over into russia illegally to catch him. it sounds so crazy it can't be official info - even if the dude is certifiably crazy and willing to try stupid shit. would be great tv though up until the point they get caught and if they're lucky not shot - though I'd suspect they would get swindled out of their money long before they even get to the russian border!

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44556155)

Putin die of old age?

Have a look at Robert Mugabe some time. When I'm that age I hope to be goofing off on a porch somewhere, chasing kids off my lawn, not trying to hold onto political power.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557013)

If you flip Putin's face over, you see Obamas!

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (1, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 8 months ago | (#44556453)

A former soviet communist hardliner turned autocratic dictator without a PR wing?

RT is just Pravda. Interesting I find no mention of Pravda anywhere on this current page load.

And all this snowden bullshit. You know... blow the whistle on domestic spying is one thing. Running straight to Russia and buying some asylum by blabbing about US spy activities in foreign countries makes him nothing but a traitor.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556873)

Snowden did not run straight to Russia. He went to HK first, then to Russia with the intent of transiting to another destination. His passport was revoked and he was stranded with the additional threats of having any plane he might board to get out of Russia being detained and him rendered back to the USA.

There is no evidence that he provided any intel to Russia. Considering that he is essentially boxed in, he has no choice but to ask for asylum from Russia. I am sure that Snowden is quite aware of the irony of his situation, but it wasn't by his design or intent.

Please cease commenting on Snowden until you can get the basic facts about his situation straight.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 8 months ago | (#44557555)

Umm, ok he went running off to china (HK), then transited thru russia. There fixed that for you.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (5, Interesting)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 8 months ago | (#44557393)

I actually think US news sources are more like Pravda. Every single one is nothing more than an arm of the US government. The only way to get any news that is even remotely objective and not wildly pro-government biased is to seek foreign news sources like Al Jazeera, RT, or the BBC. So it's a Pot meet Kettle kind of situation. I actually think RT.com, at least the American section, is quite a bit less biased than any US source of news.

Also the fact that you are spreading lies and calling Snowden a traitor probably means that you get your paycheck from the US government. I think you are a bit too obvious though. Haven't you guys ever heard of subtlety? If you want to serve your masters well it would be better to town down some of the more obvious defector/traitor verbiage. You can't be an effective cyber warrior if it is obvious to everyone that that is what you are.

Re:Snowden is clearly in good hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556571)

Capitalization and punctuation are valuable.

So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44555827)

Does "the West" have a patent on this methodology?

Re:So? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44555903)

Does "the West" have a patent on this methodology?

Car crashes, house fires, shoot outs. Nothing, absolutely nothing on what the local school board or city planning meeting has lately decided. And use that phrase 'looked like a war zone' frequently.

James Earl Jones: This is --oh, shiny! (4, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | about 8 months ago | (#44556211)

Does "the West" have a patent on this methodology?

"To spice up the news, directors sometimes use Hollywood-like special effects, such as a computer-animated tank that looks like it is rolling over the newscaster's feet or Israeli fighter jets that fly a virtual loop through the studio before dropping their bombs over a map of Syria."

Based on the last election, I'd say CNN does.

Fox News tried... (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#44556327)

Does "the West" have a patent on this methodology?

Roger Ailes tried but the patent was rejected but there was too much prior art....

Really if anything "the West" should be credited with inventing modern journalism.

First Amendment to the Constitution was the first of its kind. No other citizens had ever had that level of official legal protection in history.

France gave us the idea of the press as the '4th Estate'...in a broad sense being an independent check on government.

England contributed mostly by abusing the press for colonialism purposes and using sex to sell tabloids...setting the stage for the 1st Amendment.

Re:So? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#44557477)

No. In fact, in the US, no matter how much a challenger raises, the incumbant just got done helping spend over $16,000,000,000,000 .00 over the previous 4 years.

RT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44555835)

They did lots of early stories on the NSA I thought were tinfoil hat stuff until recently.

Re:RT (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44556063)

They did lots of early stories on the NSA I thought were tinfoil hat stuff until recently.

They probably have a lot more practices at this at the NKVD and 'ad a larf when watching how easily a conscientious objector contractor exposed everything - where fear of running afoul of Putin keeps everyone in line in the Russia Spying on Russians biz. If you doubt it, look up what became of Alexander Litvinenko.

German for beginners: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44555849)

Fut ist gut wenn stinken tut - Fut besser, wenn gresser.

But to really propel Russia Today to the fore... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44555877)

Big hair, pasty make-up, loud ties and announcer voices which grab your attention and slap you around a bit, no matter how banal the news item.

In Soviet Russia the news watches YOU!

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (0, Troll)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 8 months ago | (#44556061)

Big hair, pasty make-up, loud ties and announcer voices which grab your attention and slap you around a bit, no matter how banal the news item.

Perhaps growing up with the BBC and the CBC has biased me but that sounds like American journalism to me.

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (1)

mbkennel (97636) | about 8 months ago | (#44556107)


Specifically, it sounds like Fox News, not just any American journalism. That's the point. RT is Putin's Fox News.

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (1, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 8 months ago | (#44556607)

Be fair. NPR, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times are Obama's Pravda.

You will rarely if ever hear one of those outlets cast a critical eye towards liberal policies. They are are just as biased left as fox is biased right. u mad that one outlet disagrees with the rest?

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#44556655)

u mad that one outlet disagrees with the rest?

Personally, I'm a bit surprised at how many people fall for that whole faux adversarial relationship.

Substance-wise, all mainstream US news outlets are identical, in that they're completely lacking.

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44556167)

Big hair, pasty make-up, loud ties and announcer voices which grab your attention and slap you around a bit, no matter how banal the news item.

Perhaps growing up with the BBC and the CBC has biased me but that sounds like American journalism to me.

That's why I spend most of my news-listening time listening to the BBC, because I like to stay informed, not entertained.

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#44557119)

The BBC frequently runs AP stories just like Fox. I think world wide they have more and better reporters, but those people are not often published.

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (3, Insightful)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 8 months ago | (#44556439)

Indeed. The best news I have found in the English-speaking world are the various *BCs of the Commonwealth countries. BBC being the most well-known example, but the CBC (Canada) and ABC (Australia) are both excellent too. Public broadcasters, no ads, less political bias (not to say there is none - but they generally have much tougher editorial guidelines and charters of responsibility than corporate news organisations). All three have a good, free web presence. All three have good 24h news TV and radio channels ... the latter are freely available globally if you have the right equipment and can be streamed online/accessed via an app like TuneIn Radio). The TV channels are a bit trickier to get - BBC is available in the US if you have cable I think, the others stream online but would require a VPN.

Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556581)

>Public broadcasters, no ads
CBC has commercials. Watching them right now. - dog food, cell phone, retirement plan, junk food. etc

I skim RT daily (3, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#44555901)

I skim RT daily. But you know what? An *awful* lot of their content is blatant and clumsy propaganda.

It's truly the "National Enquirer" of the news sites I visit on a daily basis. The only reason I don't go anywhere else for a Russian perspective on the news is I haven't found any other english-translated Russian sites. Given a choice, I'd never go to that trash-rag again.

Re:I skim RT daily (2)

Pliny (12671) | about 8 months ago | (#44555947)

I watch their video stream at home. their coverage of human rights issues inside Russia is the darkest of comedies, and their skew on Syria is super obvious, but I'm in the market for a news source critical of my government, and they certainly fit the bill better than MSNBC or CNN.

Re:I skim RT daily (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556267)

If you're fed up with RT, there are also reasonably good feeds, youtube channels, and live TV from Al Jazeera, CCTV (China), and NHK (Japan). They propagandize from slightly different directions, it makes for an interesting mix.

Re:I skim RT daily (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44555989)

I skim RT daily. But you know what? An *awful* lot of their content is blatant and clumsy propaganda.

It's truly the "National Enquirer" of the news sites I visit on a daily basis. The only reason I don't go anywhere else for a Russian perspective on the news is I haven't found any other english-translated Russian sites. Given a choice, I'd never go to that trash-rag again.

I get the feeling RT is trying to fill whatever gaps are left between wind-up commentators and news-fo-tainment in the West. The word Tommyrot comes to mind.

Re:I skim RT daily (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556031)

They even host that dirty commie Richard M. Stalinman!

Re:I skim RT daily (1)

sageres (561626) | about 8 months ago | (#44556325)

go to translate.google.com than point your browser to lenta.ru That's the best you can get to independent Russian news.

Re:I skim RT daily (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556501)

or gazeta.ru

Re:I skim RT daily (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557173)

gazeta.ru is pretty biased. Not much different from the Western media reporting on Russia.

Re:I skim RT daily (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 8 months ago | (#44556895)

I never felt they were that bad... The videos i almost never watch- that stuff isn't so good. The written propaganda I never felt that bad about because it's almost like they want you to know it... I feel insulted by Fox News because they seem serious about their propaganda while RT doesn't. When the truth aligns with them, or they don't care, they do a pretty good job-- and now I know why-- they have the staff and in the USA most "news" sources are just filling up space/time because they have no resources or their own.

Re:I skim RT daily (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#44556987)

Are you implying that Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC, The NY Post, the AP, or any of the other entertainment^W News in the US is not propaganda? We need to get "News" from somewhere. I think its wise to try and teach people to recognize and find facts in propaganda, and look for the agendas. The Ostrich can bury it's head in the sand, but still gets eaten.

Re:I skim RT daily (1)

jandrese (485) | about 8 months ago | (#44557313)

I thought RT was just supposed to be the Fox News of Russia? Basically an arm of the political party willing to repeat whatever they're told. You can't blame either of them, it's a very profitable thing to do.

Re:I skim RT daily (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#44557503)

What about the graphics?

"To spice up the news, directors sometimes use Hollywood-like special effects, such as a computer-animated tank that looks like it is rolling over the newscaster's feet or Israeli fighter jets that fly a virtual loop through the studio before dropping their bombs over a map of Syria."

All done by Putin's new SFX company Industrial Fraud and Propaganda.

Can they get Bill O'Reilly to defect too. (2)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 8 months ago | (#44555917)

The station was even more triumphant when it signed Larry King

I know Larry King wasn't that bad (I found him insightful), but maybe if they take enough of our cable talking heads we might get actual journalists on the news.

Their the best in the world at it. (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 8 months ago | (#44555933)

The Russians have always been the best in the world at propaganda. A book that covers this really well from a former insider is the Sword and the Shield [amazon.com] by Christopher Andrew (Author) and Vasili Mitrokhin.

In the US we fought back using abstract art [theartnewspaper.com] . Back then great pains were taken to hide propaganda, nowadays the great pains to hide things are taken by advertising companies on behalf of multinationals...

Re:Their the best in the world at it. (1, Flamebait)

Tailhook (98486) | about 8 months ago | (#44556507)

The Russians have always been the best in the world at propaganda.

Nonsense. The triumph of pre-revolution, bolshevik/soviet and post-soviet Russia has been fear. The subjects generally do not believe the lies; they pretend they do to avoid notice. Outside Russia, the only people that believe the lies are leftists; academics, media people, statists, hate-filled malcontents, etc., lapping up what they are fed.

Good propaganda should be expected to influence more than just the terrorized and the retarded.

Re:Their the best in the world at it. (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 8 months ago | (#44556715)

I would suggest you read the book then. They were instrumental in the development of organizations like the Black Panthers, shaping of the BBC, the JFK assassination theories and any number of other similar propaganda works. By way of oversimplification, Vietnam was not lost on the battlefield, it was lost on the printing presses of the West. Influencing outcomes indirectly without it being obvious they were at work was what they excelled at.

At least it's outright (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44555935)

At least RT is outwardly funded and influenced by the state so you can make your own determination as to the validity of any of their reporting. I would prefer to know there is a government backed bias instead of having secret influence on the media like there is in many US news outlets.

Re:At least it's outright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556375)

Wish i could mod you down for being a typical example of "secret Russian influence on public via comments in social media". In fact, there are thousands like you working for Russia all over the world. Just seed doubts, divide and rule.

Actual reporters (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 8 months ago | (#44555943)

Russia Today has an edge simply because it has a big reporting staff. This is unusual in the US today. Only the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post have serious world reporting staffs any more.

RT is biased, but it's no worse than Fox News. The embarrassing thing for Americans is that RT doesn't have to make up bad stuff about the US. They just put the bad stuff at the top of their pages.

Re:Actual reporters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556117)

Russia Today has an edge simply because it has a big reporting staff. This is unusual in the US today. Only the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post have serious world reporting staffs any more.

RT is biased, but it's no worse than Fox News. The embarrassing thing for Americans is that RT doesn't have to make up bad stuff about the US. They just put the bad stuff at the top of their pages.

It's funny that RT takes direct pot shots at CNN/MSNBC, when Fox News has a lot more "pro-west" things to say that are critical of Russia (and foreigners in general). It's as if they know that taking pot shots at Fox would basically be two elephant hunters going after each other, instead of the elephant.

Re:Actual reporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556231)

It is biased, but no more then FOX, CNN, BBC or any other news outlet who promote the multimedia conglomerate to which they do belong.

Re:Actual reporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556833)

False equivalency. Very false.

Re:Actual reporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557409)

Keep telling yourself that and you may start to believe it.

Re:Actual reporters (1)

jandrese (485) | about 8 months ago | (#44557407)

RT is biased, but it's no worse than Fox News.

Yeah, cancer is pretty bad, but it's no worse than SARS.

Us good them bad. (0, Troll)

stewsters (1406737) | about 8 months ago | (#44555975)

So, its like Fox News, but for Russians?

No. Fox News is idiotic. RT is for smarter suckers (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 8 months ago | (#44556361)

When reality isn't aligned to their agenda, then they employ propaganda - and from what I've read so far it's not as moronic as what Fox News does.

RT is loads better than Fox News. Of course when it comes to reporting on the west, they don't need to try -- the west is screwing itself; they can just report honestly. I frankly have been surprised they got into topics with the USA that Russia has trouble with - you'd think they wouldn't want to bring up the whole topic... which was how old propaganda worked... It seems that PR people have learned how to work so well with hypocrisy they don't avoid it anymore.

Re:Us good them bad. (1)

CrAlt (3208) | about 8 months ago | (#44556395)

Obama funds fox news?

Re:Us good them bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556721)

No. He funds Mostly Shit NoBody Cares for. Same idiocy, different direction

A sad demand (3, Insightful)

a whoabot (706122) | about 8 months ago | (#44555995)

Go ahead and watch online: Two channels in English. [rt.com] Sad that there is a demand for news bent to the side of a human right abuser like Russia. But the Obama administration (like the Bush administration) before has been so corrupt that outside views are needed.

Re:A sad demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556189)

Sad that there is a demand for news bent to the side of a human right abuser like Russia

I know, I wish american media was less popular too...

Re:A sad demand (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556405)

USA is hardly innocent when it comes to human rights. Gitmo, torture, years of solitary confinement, using our tax dollars to fund Israel and their disgusting human rights record to appease the local Jews, occupying countries to line the pockets of a few wealth people, private armies that are allowed to murder children and rape women.

Re:A sad demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556749)

There are plenty out outside views that are not the propaganda arm of the kgb reborn.

yes they are a Russian propaganda tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556005)

but i am glad the exist. There is simply no way to get impartial/objective news nowadays, almost everyone has an agenda. In the case of RT it is obvious, but sometimes it is also enlightening.

Therefore the best thing to do is look at a couple of very different news stations and use your common sense.
This is why I really did not like it when they took Press TV (Iranian International news station) of the satellite because of the economic sanctions. One interesting point of view gone.

Let the campaining begin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556021)

What's with all the recent Russia smear stories?

Did somebody do something to embarrass the American government? Or is this just preparation for an invasion to get their oil? What's next? Weapons of mass destruction in Russia?

Re:Let the campaining begin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556661)

What's with all the recent Russia smear stories?

No shit. Russia is quite capable of smearing itself. I mean, what exactly does Russian export other than mobsters, weapons and cyber crime? Vodka? Caviar? Russian "brides"? We have plenty of problems and corruption in America, and they are truly getting worse, but I sure as shit would rather live here than in Russia.

"But it is also meant to amplify the self-doubts of Europeans and Americans who have been forced by recent events to wonder if their own countries — like Russia and China — are corrupt..."

"Self-doubts"??? Dude, most Americans with a brain know that the US government is corrupt, they don't need the propaganda organ of another Corrupt State to enlighten them.

Re:Let the campaining begin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557507)

"Self-doubts"??? Dude, most Americans with a brain know that the US government is corrupt, they don't need the propaganda organ of another Corrupt State to enlighten them.

Well as a brain is essential to survive for an animal I would imagine that you mean a certain quality of brain. I am however not that sure that you yourself are endowed with an organ of such quality, much like the vast majority of your countrymen (and the human race in general).

Re:Let the campaining begin! (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 8 months ago | (#44556687)

Did somebody do something to embarrass the American government?

Umm, Snowden?

Also, Russia has been taking steps since Putin returned to the Presidency to define itself by seeking an identity that opposes the West in an attempt to assert their own relevance and independence from the West. You can see this in their recent cozying up to the Eastern Orthodox Church in recent years with their strengthening anti-gay stance and prosecuting members of Pussy Riot for blasphemy.

Putin is a former part of the Cold War machine who seems interested in restarting it. He also does not get along well with Obama, thanks to them both being somewhat cold, introverted types. The Daily Show had fun at both their expenses over this. [thedailyshow.com]

Please tell me this is not propaganda in itself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556027)

Just the way that this is written, has so many implications.

------------
Simonyan's mission is to prevent Russia from ever losing a war of images like the one it did in August 2008. At the time, Russian tanks were advancing into the southern Caucasus, stopping just short of Tbilisi, the capital of the small country of Georgia. The young Georgian president at the time, Mikheil Saakashvili -- eloquent and educated in the United States -- appeared on all channels to condemn Russia as an aggressor, even though he had provoked the war and was the first to order an invasion of the separatist republic of South Ossetia, which has close ties with Russia.

CNN showed images of destroyed buildings, allegedly taken after a Russian bomb strike on the Georgian provincial city of Gori. According to Russia Today, however, they were actually shots of the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali after a Georgian attack. "There is no objectivity," Simonyan says today, "only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible."

--------------------

Past is prologue (1)

stox (131684) | about 8 months ago | (#44556079)

When I was young, I used to listen to Radio Moscow, Radio Peking on shortwave radio, to get the perspective from the other side. Now I can just browse a website. Still, a lot of propaganda on all sides. The truth tends to lie somewhere in the middle.

The fallacy of "middle" (2)

bussdriver (620565) | about 8 months ago | (#44556283)

Just don't get stuck into the trap of aiming for the middle simply because both sides have a bias. Then you are no better than the Americans.... who continually shift beyond Mussolini's Fascism without realizing it.

Get out (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 8 months ago | (#44556121)

It's a rusky "news" outlet. Who in their right mind would consider it a pr weapon of any import? Unless you're one of them socialist euro zombines ... well never mind.

I am a Greek (so, in the "target audience of R.T.) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556145)

I am a Greek - i mostly get my international info from the usual suspects (from BBC to the American mega-media) either directly or from the Greek media.
But as a Greek, knowing much more about my neighborhood (Greece and the Balkans or Middle East) i can not take seriously those Western media when they demonstrate such luck of knowledge or understanding about it (i don't even bother with their bias anymore). For example, in my country they constantly report about a far right nationalistic political party as neo-nazi (when is not - is anti-immigration only... their most respected figure from the past is the one that gone to war against fascists/nazis!) or in Syria they constantly ignore the horible violence of the Islamists against the secular Muslim Syrians and Christians (some of them Greeks).
Russia Today, despite their own share of bias, is much better in some issues... much better!

Sooo.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556287)

No different than cspan

Obama's response: (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 8 months ago | (#44556307)

Not to be outdone, Obama has authorized Voice of America to broadcast to American audiences, in order to ensure that our country keeps the upper hand in using propaganda against western audiences.

</wishiwerejoking> [pbs.org]

Russia World (4, Interesting)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 8 months ago | (#44556331)

The modern Russian media is if anything worse than the old Pravda was. If you've recently had the pleasure of trying to have a political discussion with a Russian national, you'll notice quickly that they basically live in an entirely different universe than everyone else. Seriously, day-long Fox News viewers are well-grounded in reality compared to these folks.

In the Russian universe, the driving force behind everything is the USA. Literally everything, even stuff your typical American would claim to neither know nor give a shit about. The entire Arab Spring was started and driven by outside USA agitators. All those protestors you see on TV? All fakes (or paid US agents). They'll do the same in Russia too, given half the chance. You see, NGO's are also all CIA organizations acting to overthrow governments. Thus attacking NGO's is a patriot's duty.

It'll be fun when they start trying to seriously peddle this stuff in the West. I'd laugh it off as clearly unbelievable, but I used to do that with the 700 Club when it started on TV too. Some people bought it, and that made it important, no matter how clearly silly it all was.

For that reason I'd actually advocate taking in some Russian media, just so their behavior will start to make some sense to you. Syrians, wonder why Russia works so hard to keep your local tyrant in power? The answer's there. Americans, wonder what Russians seem to have against anything at all your country publicly seems to want? The answer's there too.

Re:Russia World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557097)

And how do you know that it's the Russians that are wrong, and not you?

It's easy to see when others might be peddling propaganda. It's very difficult to realize that you have simply been buying a different brand of propaganda, and swallowing it whole.

Re:Russia World (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 8 months ago | (#44557551)

And how do you know that it's the Russians that are wrong, and not you?

I'm not claiming "right" (whatever that is) is on my side. That's precisely why I used the metaphor of universes.

I will however, postulate that the true universe, if such a thing exists, is a very complex place. If yours has one deus ex machina that is responsible for everything (or at least everything bad) that happens, it is clearly pretty damn far off of true. Just a nice rule of thumb for you, whatever country you live in and whatever view of the world you chose to embrace.

Re:Russia World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557435)

> In the Russian universe, the driving force behind everything is the USA. Literally everything, even stuff your typical American would claim to neither know nor give a shit about. The entire Arab Spring was started and driven by outside USA agitators. All those protestors you see on TV? All fakes (or paid US agents). They'll do the same in Russia too, given half the chance. You see, NGO's are also all CIA organizations acting to overthrow governments.

Yes, very much so. For some reason the State Department is blamed more frequently than CIA but this is a minor detail. The really scary thing for me was to realize this applies not only to the uneducated masses or 'sheep' that only watch TV but to a lot of people that should know better. These are educated, know history, use Internet, travel abroad and, some of them, lived through the Soviet times and know what blatant state propaganda looks like. At first, I was not sure they were serious. It turned out they are dead serious and the Russian propaganda machine is working much better than I could imagine.
 

Re:Russia World (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 8 months ago | (#44557531)

For the 50, 100, or however many billions the real budget of the CIA is they should be everywhere, and they better be outfitted with the best exploding pens.

Perspectives (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 8 months ago | (#44556339)

Most news media spews propoganda in some respect even if when that respect is apolitical in the form of human laziness, lack of knowledge or button pushing and invocation of hyperbole to attract interest/ratings.

As long as you understand context only real question does SNR of nonsense and propoganda to useful objective information make media x worth yer time 2 parse.

http://rt.com/usa/nsa-review-group-clapper-445/ [rt.com]

Putin is gay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556367)

gay with delight over his reelection.

All News Outlets are Weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44556445)

Take a class, or read a textbook, on advertising.

"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it."

"The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade and suggest."

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society."

"Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government."

-- Edward Bernays, aka, The Father of Public Relations

Corruption (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#44556729)

But it is also meant to amplify the self-doubts of Europeans and Americans who have been forced by recent events to wonder if their own countries — like Russia and China — are corrupt

No, they aren't [wikipedia.org] . Why would anyone with Internet access and a working brain wonder that?

An Old Saying (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#44556735)

"There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth."

RT provides a nice counter-point to the Western propaganda machine.

Cultural competition ala Civilization. (1)

relaxinparadise (943965) | about 8 months ago | (#44556757)

RT, or Russia Today, is an admission ticket for Russia into the global competition of culture. Much akin to a game of Civilization (thank god for Sid Meier) where a civ goes for a cultural victory. Also, the comparison's to Fox News in the US are a bit off. Fox News' focus of 'us vs. them' is the intra-national infighting of the dis-United States while Russia Today's 'us vs. them' is clearly international.

Viva the Daily Show! (1)

bknack (947759) | about 8 months ago | (#44556763)

I tried to watch them...

I can't tell if they take themselves seriously or not?

Makes me ache for the days when the news was news and strictly separated from 'editorial' content...

... of course, I'm not sure those days ever really existed.

Honesty, between them, FOX, CNN and MSNBC... I actually watch the Daily Show

RT is great (1)

xiando (770382) | about 8 months ago | (#44556781)

yes, it's mostly propaganda - just like all the western "news outlets". The difference is that it's different propaganda and that's quite refreshing, it's one source of information which doesn't parrot the same garbage all the rest spew out.

More interesting site: English Russia (2)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 8 months ago | (#44557217)

You know what's a more interesting site?

English Russia [englishrussia.com] . Mostly photo-essay / slideshow style, but with really high quality, large images. Tons of urban exploration [englishrussia.com] themed stories, for example. Very neat.

One of the reasons that I think the mainstream press has been biting it online is that many of them still think 300-pixel-wide images are acceptable for covering a story. I have a camera where I can shoot someone's photo from a block away and practically see their nosehairs, news photographers are shooting with the same or better, and they're posting crappy, overcompressed, over-contrasted, tiny garbage.

The Boston Globe's Big Picture [boston.com] posts images 990x660, and they're so much better it's astounding. They're standard newswire photos - just not compressed to hell and shrunk to the size of a postage stamp like they are almost everywhere else!

As a Russian living in USA, I have to admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557399)

As a Russian living in USA, I have to admit that I have never watched RT.

so... (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#44557423)

So are we pretending now that the United States doesn't have it's own State Media propaganda outlets? And no I'm not talking about Fox news or MSNBC. They are basically extensions of their respective political parties but not directly run by the feds.

I'm talking about Voice of America: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_America [wikipedia.org]
They broadcast US propaganda all over the world at the behest of the state department.

But wait you say? This is only directed at foreign audiences like the middle east to counteract the state run media there?

Ah, but no... Congress just repealed the decades old "propaganda ban" and directed Voice of America to start broadcasting inside the united states:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130715/11210223804/anti-propaganda-ban-repealed-freeing-state-dept-to-direct-its-broadcasting-arm-american-citizens.shtml [techdirt.com]

That's right, The United States of America, beacon of freedom, land of the free, home of the brave, will now have a State media organization dedicated to manipulating the American people into believing their government is Righteous and good.

greater than 1% of our population is in prison.
We have a never ending nebulous "War on Terror"
We have a secret domestic spy network that captures all of your communications
Our government now imprisons people indefinitely without warrant, cause or judicial oversight.
Our president now orders the death of foreigners AND American citizens without any oversight what-so-ever as long as he feels they are an imminent threat.

Welcome to the the Police state.
Russia's not looking so bad now is it?

From a neutral Finnish point of view.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44557425)

RT is 100% legit news next to American comedy like Fox "news"..

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