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Wed Jul 1, 2020, 08:44 PM

Kremlin Broadcasting on Election 2020

If you want to see the themes that Russia will be pushing through social media, it is helpful to see what theme Russia State sponsored media is pushing:


FIE 2020 examined 459 broadcasts from Sputnik and RT from its more than 15,500 catalogued stories published from January 1, 2019 to May 19, 2020. Sputnik broadcasts came in the form of radio programs, while RT broadcasts were television clips published in articles or as audio files on Soundcloud. Coverage by these broadcasts has been defined by four major themes with regard to the 2020 election, all of which align with trends observed in the outlets’ print content:

1) The weakness of U.S.’s democratic institutions, particularly in the wake of COVID-19

2) Denial of Russian efforts to interfere in both the 2016 and 2020 elections

3) The Democratic Party’s marginalization of progressive voices and “election rigging”

4) President Trump’s strong prospects of winning the 2020 presidential election

Many of the broadcasts from RT and Sputnik lean to the political left, with some conservative outliers; however, much of the content at both ends of the spectrum aligns broadly with the four narratives above. These narratives broadly align with the Kremlin playbook of “secure the base, split the opposition”: targeting the divides in U.S. society, particularly in the Democratic Party, while reinforcing and amplifying Trump’s perceived chances of victory.

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