Thursday, January 26, 2023

Even Russia’s Tabloid Press Increasingly Politicized

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 23 – The Russian tabloid press seldom gets much attention from foreign observers because it provides its readers with much the same diet of stories that the tabloids in other countries do, articles about the rich and famous and their travails and others about strange and even unnatural developments.

            But since Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” in Ukraine last February, Russia’s tabloids have changed. Ever more of its stories link movie stars, athletes and other popular figures to the war, praising those who support it and condemning those who don’t (

            Katya Orlova, a Novaya gazeta journalist, provides a rich assortment of titles from the most prominent Russian tabloids to highlight the fact that even this most distant from politics format has now been swept up in Putin’s effort to promote his war in Ukraine and his fight against those who oppose it or him for other reasons.

            When Russian tabloid readers will be affected by this, of course, remains an open question; but someone in the Kremlin clearly thinks they will be and so is reining in outlets that in some cases may be the only ones some Russians actually read. 

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