This is an excellent recent documentary on the resurgence of mass activism globally, on the challenges that protesters face, and on strategies that they employ to overcome those challenges. Description from the BBC website:
“In an age when technology has made organising protest movements easier than ever before, journalist Zoe Williams asks why we aren’t seeing long-term results. She looks back on the global history of activism to discover the pre-conditions needed for concrete change.
Recent years have seen an explosion of protest movements to secure equality, protect immigrants, and demand justice. But often these movements are doomed to short-term impact. Does today’s activism overlook the benefits of doing things the hard way?
By digging into the archives, Zoe looks back to the most impactful protest movements of the 20th century that permanently changed history. By analysing what key elements are needed for success, she will construct new rules of modern-day activism for future generations.
Zoe speaks to former civil rights organiser Marshall Ganz, and considers whether social media can work with traditional methods of protesting by speaking with a co-founder of UK Uncut and digital activists who studied the unprecedented success of Euromaidan in Ukraine.
Some activists believe the issue lies in how we measure the success of movements. Co-founder of the global Occupy protests, Micah White, explains how the failure of his movement showed him how activism needs to be redefined.
Finally, Zoe investigates how to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of any protest – from radicals that disrupt non-violent marches to handling media coverage – and how government bodies may manipulate protests to their own advantage.”
The detail of our automated content analysis technique called latent semantic scaling (LSS) is now available in Kohei Watanabe’s working paper titled Big Media Analysis: Application of Vector Space Models to Document Scaling.
Continue reading “Working paper on latent semantic scaling”
Kohei Watanabe’s research paper title Newsmap: A semi-supervised approach to geographical news classification appeared in Digital Journalism. It explains how we selected news stories only about Ukraine or Russia from a large corpus in the projects.
Continue reading “New paper on geographical news classification technique”
Tomila Lankina has discussed Russian media manipulation strategies at the Workshop on Citizens and the State in Authoritarian Regimes at the University of Notre Dame on 10-11 March, 2017.
Click here to see Dr. Lankina’s research featured in a post on LSE Research Highlights in which she discusses the importance of analysing media as a tool for understanding the “black box” of Russia’s domestic and foreign policy making:
As Russia has pursued an increasingly aggressive foreign policy in recent years, a new study argues that media monitoring can shed light on the Kremlin’s opaque decision-making and help explain Russian president Vladimir Putin’s tight grip on power, despite his domestic economic woes.
Lankina, Tomila V. (2016) It’s Not All Negative: Russian Media’s Flexible Coverage of Protest as a Regime Survival Strategy, No. 449. PONARS Eurasia, Washington, DC, USA.
Pundits continue to debate whether economic shocks, public discontent at home, and isolation abroad will shake President Vladimir Putin’s regime. Much of the commentary on Putin’s survival strategies has focused on repression and aggressive military posturing. This somewhat obscures another important strategy: being highly sensitive to the public mood, deftly reacting to public sentiment, and effecting rapid policy shifts to moderate public dissent.
Continue reading “New PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo on Russian media”
Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis are joined by Sarah Kendall, Ellie Taylor, Luke Kempner, Pippa Evans and Dr. Tomila Lankina to present the news via topical stand up and sketches on BBC Radio 4. Some of the topics up for discussion in this week’s episode: US election result;, Trump; the soothing powers of the word of the year; Putin; and puppets.
Audio file is available on the PONARS Eurasia website.