On SAGE Insight: The Evolution of Trump’s Image in Russian Media

Article title: The Evolution of Trump’s Image in Russian Media

From American Behavioral Scientist

This article examines the dynamics of the Donald Trump’s myth creation in Russia through media discourse. The analysis is based on the universal sample of articles published in three major Russian newspapers during the period from the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 until May 31, 2018. A total 275 relevant articles were selected during period, using keyword searches.

It is concluded the discourse remains propagandistic in nature. Trump’s myth which is being constructed by the Russian media for the domestic Russian audience is based on two basic foundations: (a) Trump is different from the rest of the U.S. establishment and (b) It is implied that he wants to restore positive relationships with Russia, but his enemies do not allowhim to do so. Russian media continue to support Donald Trump and deliberately create a favorable opinion of him despite some temporary deviations toward binary.

Abstract

The article examines the dynamics of the Donald Trump’s myth creation in Russia through nominations in media discourse. Mythological nominations are objects of reflected reality which are capable of directing public opinion and creating some desired public attitude on irrational levels. The article generalizes nominations-antinomies of Donald Trump in the Russian political media discourse during the information confrontation between Russia and the United States. The analysis is based on the universal sample of articles published in three major Russian newspapers during the period from the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 until May 31, 2018. The results of the discursive and content analysis, together with semiotic and semantic analysis of the nominations, indicate the intention of forming positive image of Trump in Russia. The only notable exceptions in this generally positive narrative were 4 months which coincide with the following events: missile strike on Syria military base in April 2017, threats to North Korea and withdrawal from the Paris climate deal in September 2017, record military budget and relocation of the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in December 2017, further tightening economic sanctions, trade and military activity in Syria in April 2018. During the periods surrounding these events, the discourse was sharply reversed from a generally positive validation of Trump to a negative one.

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Article details
The Evolution of Trump’s Image in Russian Media
Elena Bykova, Dmitrii Gavra, Pavel Slutskiy
First Published 10 Aug 2018
DOI: 10.1177/0002764218793691
American Behavioral Scientist

     
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