Inside the Kremlin’s media machine

How a pro-Kremlin disinformation outlet works?

 

2017/05/17 - 02:32 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia

How does the world look from inside a pro-Kremlin disinformation outlet? We rarely get the opportunity to hear from the people who work in such organisations. So it is something of a scoop every time a whistle blower surfaces and offers a testimony.

Last week, Coda Story presented a valuable piece of documentation with the article “Confessions of a (Former) State TV Reporter“. It featured Ilya Kizirov, who now works as a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Russian-language service, but who previously worked in Russian state-controlled media outlet RIA Novosti. According to Kizirov, RIA Novosti was “for years one of the most unusual media organizations in Russia: a state-run agency with an excellent reputation for balanced and fair reporting”. But this professionalism was challenged when Dmitry Kiselev was appointed CEO and, as also reported by other media, announced to his staff that “the period of impartial journalism is over. Objectivity is a myth that we have been offered; it has been imposed on us”. Top-editors told the staff that “there is no more time for truth-seeking”, and that “our country is back in the Cold War era.”

Kizirov’s testimony provides a series of concrete examples of the ways in which the state media are under direct political control. His observations echo what we have described as the Kremlin’s guidelines-based approach when he recalls how instructions trickled down from the top in the Kremlin to the newsrooms: “Once a week”, Kizirov tells, “usually on Fridays, all key editors of all the government media-platforms would gather at the Kremlin for an ‘editorial meeting.’ These were mostly led by President Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov. A few hours later, a real editorial meeting would take place in the newsroom and, based on the Kremlin meeting, a team of top producers would discuss the upcoming coverage — what issues it would raise and what guests would appear on the evening talk-show”.

The journalist says that key to making educated and experienced journalists work in strict accordance with political guidelines is the social aspect: “Some of these people joined the channel in the early 2000s, when you could speak out on TV and have meaningful debates. Slowly, over the years, compromises, one by one, crept into their lives. By early 2010, these editors and reporters had kids and mortgages and quitting wasn’t an option. The Kremlin’s disinformation campaign depends on such journalists.”

Mr Kizirov tells of a colleague whom he names “Alexei,” and who lost his scepticism on a reporting trip in the Donbas, This has paved “Alexei’s” way to an impressive career in the world of pro-Kremlin media. However, “Alexei” has also, as Kizirov explains, “moved his wife and two young daughters to Vietnam, where they live in a cottage by the beach. In a year or two he hopes to join them there, open a small hotel and ‘forget all the things [he is] covering now’”.

It’s important to stress that Kizirov’s testimony does not stand alone. As we have reported earlier, a series of people have told stories from inside the infamous pro-Kremlin “troll factories”, sometimes as whistle blowers, but also as reporters who have worked under cover. Similarly, foreign journalists who have accepted job offers from Russia Today (RT) have left the organisation and spoken publicly about what it’s like to work as a professional disinformer, some even quitting their positions live on air.

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  • Andrew Chmile

    Why hasn’t the “clever” Ruski **MOLE** “Alex George” posted something “anti-Ruski” here yet? :)

    That is — when NOT telling Ukr. NOT to RESTORE pro-Ukr. language legislation because Russo-mongolians would “get mad” :) and “it wouldn’t work anyway.”

    Ah! — language bans ONLY WORK in the Russian Federation & when Ruski do it to everyone else — eh? :)

    This “Alex George” — “defender of Ukraine” & **MOLE** — gives the same “Ukrainian Language Advice” that the Ruski Foreign Ministry gibes! :)

    https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/847372231483183104/photo/1

    • Alex George

      “Why hasn’t the “clever” Ruski **MOLE** “Alex George” posted something “anti-Ruski” here on this page yet? :)”

      Ummmm, because the Article was only posted a short time ago….?

      And at least I do post anti-Kremlin comments – large amounts of them. And I explain my facts and reasoning. Your anti-Russian comments are only for show, Andrew, because you post far more comments attacking supporters of Ukraine, and trying to get those supporters arguing with each other.

      That is why you have been banned from most pro-Ukrainian blogs.

      • Andrew Chmile

        Nope! Not most! :)

        And UNlike YOU — I do not LIE & SNITCH (“stuk”) to the editors & CRY OUT about my “GREAT PAIN!!” — at being called a “LYING RUSSO-MONGOLIAN!” — it’s just soooo
        “RACIST!!!” & “PAINFUL!!!” :(

        But doesn’t stop any of you POS from carrying on …. does it?

        Nor do I have 20 or so accounts unlike you & the other Ruski & SERBIAN scumbag TROLLS & MOLES…

        http://img.picturequotes.com/2/2/1244/a-liar-should-have-a-good-memory-quote-1.jpg

        • Alex George

          Yes, most. There are very few pro-Ukrainian blogs that you have not been banned from. And rightly so, .because you always try to infiltrate as a Ukrainian nationalist and then get different groups of Ukrainian supporters arguing with each other.

          And no, I don’t use multiple accounts, whereas you do. Andrew Chmile, Andrew Chmileswsky, Andrew Chimlewsky, Mr Jackson, Nordheim, and many others.

          • Andrew Chmile

            :)

            STUPID & VERY TYPICAL OLD BOLSHEVIK COMMIE LIES!!!

            “Andrew Chmileswsky, Andrew Chimlewsky, Mr Jackson, Nordheim, and many others.”

            Are as you know — not me — but you little ***SERBIAN** “volunteer troll & mental case”

            —- PROVE *any* of your Ruski sh*t — as opposed to your OPPOSING the Ukr. language in Ukraine.

          • Alex George

            What I wrote is the truth, Andrew, and you yourself have proved it many times.

            There are very few pro-Ukrainian blogs that you have not been banned from. And rightly so, because you always try to infiltrate as a Ukrainian nationalist and then get different groups of Ukrainian supporters arguing with each other.

            And no, I don’t use multiple accounts, whereas you do. Andrew Chmile, Andrew Chmileswsky, Andrew Chimlewsky, Mr Jackson, Nordheim, and many others.

      • Andrew Chmile

        “And at least I do post anti-Kremlin comments – large amounts of them.”

        AND ***KEY*** posts AGAINST the Ukrainian language in Ukraine!!!

        Like the Ruski For. Ministry!

        NOT YO’ RUSKI LYING COMMUNIST **MOLE** PLACE!!!

        SCUMBAG!

        https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.gettyimages.com%2Fphotos%2Fliar-picture-id484012595%3Fs%3D612x612&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gettyimages.com%2Fphotos%2Fliar&docid=K4IB66HPlN0eeM&tbnid=_Mt_263H2i_1-M%3A&vet=10ahUKEwirqueXzfXTAhWIwxQKHeb3DJk4rAIQMwgXKBMwEw..i&w=612&h=571&bih=615&biw=1024&q=liar&ved=0ahUKEwirqueXzfXTAhWIwxQKHeb3DJk4rAIQMwgXKBMwEw&iact=mrc&uact=8

        • Alex George

          Rubbish – unlike you, I have never posted anything against the Ukrainian language.

          What I have done is point out how you are pushing the same policies that Putin likes. You want to ban the Russian language in Ukraine, which would not be successful, but would offend many Russian-speaking Ukrainians, possibly driving them towards support for Putin. And unlike you, many of those Russaphone Ukrainians have put their lives on the line for Ukraine.

          You are not Ukrainian, you do not live there, and you do not speak the Ukrainian language. You are just another Putin troll who wants to bring Ukraine down.

          • Andrew Chmile

            “You want to ban the Russian language in Ukraine, which would not be
            successful, but would offend many Russian-speaking Ukrainians, possibly
            driving them towards support for Putin.”

            It WOULD be APPROPRIATE to USE UKR. IN ALL EDUCATIONAL & GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES! — LIKE THE RUSKI DO & FORCE ON ALL THE 123 OR SO DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS!!!

            IF YOU RUSKI DON’T LIKE UKR IN UKR — TOO BAD!!!
            Russophone AZOV, AIDAR etc.. battalions are learning Ukr. :)

            “possibly
            driving them towards support for Putin.”
            Danger !!!!
            OMG!!! MAYBE THE RUSKI WILL INVADE !!!! :)))
            “GENOCIDE OF RUSSIAN SPEAKERS!!!!! A-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-EEEEE!!!” :)

            You AND the Ruski Foreign Ministry have very good advice for Ukrainians!!!
            You are all very smart people! 72 years of communism proves it! :))

            https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/847372231483183104/photo/1

            I like your below! :)))

            “You are not Ukrainian, you do not live there, and you do not speak the
            Ukrainian language. You are just another Putin troll who wants to bring
            Ukraine down.”

            STUPID MONHOL **MOLE** — you have been OUTED!!! — Go suk something Ruski! :)

          • Alex George

            Of course it would be appropriate to use Ukrainian in all functions in Ukraine – but banning use of the Russian language will only promote division among Ukrainians, and you know it.

            That is why that is what you want, just as it is what your master Putin wants.

  • Alex George

    Interesting that Putin’s media machine (which is part of his hybrid warfare effort) is so creaky.

    Yet again, Putin’s incompetence manifests itself. He truly is one of the most incompetent leaders Russia has ever had. Which is fortunate for the rest of the world.

    Meanwhile, most people outside of Russia are able to discern the truth, hence why Russia gets so little respect, from anyone.

  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSians are lying rats. They are slime. Their media glorifies its murderous paymaster, the Putin. They spread fake news everywhere. Yesterday they ran a fake news story on Zero Hedge bemoaning the ” demonising ” of the Russian empire and its aspirations, saying it is no threat to the West. Bull. The scumbag Bulgarian traitor with the KGB daddy and who owns ZH sits in his million dollar New Jersey mansion and rubbishes America. RuSSia is actively trying to reimpose hegemony over the post Soviet space and beyond, in places such as Syria, Libya, Serbia, etc. With its $1.3 trillion economy, not much bigger than Mexico, Moscow thinks it can rule much of Eurasia and also maintain a blue water navy. I doubt it. RuSSia is a craphole. Only oil and gas are keeping it afloat.

    • Andrew Chmile

      “Alex George” is a lying POS Ruski *MOLE* …

      • Alex George

        Correct, Andrew Chmile is a lying Ruski mole.

        That is why he has been banned from most Pro-Ukrainian blogs.

        • focusser1

          I banned him from a few of them.

          • Alex George

            Hygiene is a wonderful thing…. ;o)

          • focusser1

            Got to clear out the trash every now and again. LOL