Oscillating Between Alienation and Frustrated Engagement: The Study of Donbas Residents’ Response to Conflicting Narratives in the Media
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The conflict between Russia and Ukraine that unfolded in the Donbas region of Ukraine has caused significant loss of life and triggered a humanitarian crisis. This chapter examines how communities in Donbas have been navigating different media, accessing news sources amidst the conflict and making sense of the diverse and often contradictory information that is presented to them through the media. A particular focus for the analysis is placed on local media and their use by audiences in Donbas against a backdrop of deteriorating trust in national media. The chapter argues that while this context has created opportunities for local media, they have largely failed to provide a credible alternative to the mainstream national media. Instead, local groups and community pages on social media have performed some of the functions of local media by meeting the information needs of conflict-affected communities.
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