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Ideological Bias in the Media: a Comparative Analysis of Political Values in Media Discourse in Russia and Germany

Student: Clara marie Stellbrink

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations in Eurasia (Master)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2017

Media content in both Russia and Germany exhibits a high degree of ideological consensus in terms of the production and promotion of political values. Media actors in both countries tend to take a missionary stance in actively taking part in political life and advocating certain political values. This dissertation uses a comparative case study research design combined with discourse analysis and ethnographic content analysis to examine patterns of media bias and homogeneity of political values in the Russian and German media systems. Media documents from both countries regarding the refugee crisis and Russia’s actions in Crimea are analysed for content, discourse, framing narratives and intertextuality looking for reoccurring patterns of dominant ideological interpretations. Based on previous research conducted in the fields of media communication and political ideology, the two cases are compared theorising about reasons for the presence of ideological consensus and media bias in both media systems. This dissertation demonstrates that ideological consensus based on social democracy in Germany and Russian conservatism in Russia stems from the nature of the two political systems, institutionalised limitations to media freedom, distinct historical trajectories and the understanding of the role of journalism in both countries.

Full text (added May 15, 2017)

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