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Communicating Georgia: Georgia's information campaign in the 2008 war with Russia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During the 2008 South Ossetia war, Georgia and Russia fought what the English-language media called "a public relations war“. This was an interesting example of modern information warfare where governments allied with public relations agencies battled for symbolic power on the media field.

This study investigates the information campaign that the Georgian government launched to promote their framing of the conflict in the English-language media. First-hand information about the campaign strategies and techniques is gathered by interviewing the people who worked as PR consultants for the Georgian government during the war in 2008. The eventual PR output is mapped and press release texts are compared with articles from The New York Times and The Washington Post in a framing analysis.

The results indicate that Georgia won the PR war as the coverage in the U.S. newspapers clearly supported Georgia's framing. This outcome is attributed to the Georgian side's media management activities that skillfully anticipated the needs of the foreign correspondents covering the conflict.

However, the study points out that the supportive coverage was not the result of Georgia's information campaign only. Other factors have to be taken into account, most notably the U.S. administration's strong backing of the Georgian leadership that shaped the tone of the articles written about the war.

Future research should look at how the war was covered in countries with less explicit political support for Georgia, as well as investigate the PR efforts on the Russian side during and after the war.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
public relations, georgia, information war, strategic communication, south ossetia
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59081OAI: diva2:425204
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-07-25 Created: 2011-06-20 Last updated: 2011-07-25Bibliographically approved

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