Saturday, March 05, 2022

On Censorship and the Zaporizhzhia Fire


This article exists for several reasons. First, to stop the spread of fear over a potential nuclear disaster in Ukraine. We are all overburdened with worry at the Russian invasion of that country. The last thing we need is further hype and extremist announcements. Unfortunately, these are accepted at face value by too many people.

Second, I wish to assert that the censorship of Russian state broadcaster RT is a demonstration of Western propaganda. Since there is almost no free press in Russia, RT exerts unparalleled influence. But this is not to say that Russians naively accept all that it publishes. Outside Russia, RT is a useful way to gauge what the Russian government thinks. How can we fight disinformation if we don’t know what that consists of?

I will perform a media analysis of the coverage of the attack and seizure of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP). To do this, I made a snapshot of several websites on 5 March 2022 between 1300 and 1400 GMT. These articles are from the online versions of RT (Russia), Kyiv Independent (Ukraine), and Al Jazeera (Qatar). All are government-funded agencies.