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Russian Media for the Week of 6/20/2011 – 6/26/2011

Russian media this week has been dominated by several new themes, relating to national history, disasters, and high politics.  The red words in the word cloud below indicate words that appeared in this week’s news with unusually high frequency, showing a contrast with the previous week.  (Blue words show high frequency words unique to the previous week, and purple indicates words that appeared with significant prevalence both weeks – generally representative of recurrent themes.)

Week of June 20 – June 26 (Red) Compared to June 13 – June 19 (Blue) for Five Major Russian Media Segments (TV, Pop Blogs, Random Blogs, Mainstream Media, Government):

As is clear from this week’s overall comparative word cloud across five major media segments, one of the dominant themes in the week’s media has been the 70th anniversary of the German invasion of Russia that marked the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (World War II).  The German invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) began on June 22nd 1941 when Nazi tanks entered Soviet territory near the town of Brest in Belarus.  It was the beginning of four years of war in which over 20 million Soviet soldiers and civilians would perish (over 13% of the population).  The anniversary, referred to as a national “Day of Memory and Sorrow,” was somberly recalled in memorial events across Russia this week.  The unusually high occurrence of various forms of words such as “война” (war), “служба” (service), “великий” (great [patriotic war]), and “военный” (military) indicates the frequency with which the war and its legacy were discussed across the five media segments over the course of this week.  Some variants of one or more of these words appear clearly in the week’s word clouds for both Mainstream Media and Television, indicating that the story had particular prominence across these segments.  In popular blogs, we also see higher than usual discussion involving words such as “советский” (Soviet), often involving discussion of Soviet history and the legacy of the war.

One of the other major stories of the week was the June 20th crash of a passenger airplane (a Tupolev 134A-3) en route from Moscow to Petrozavodsk.  Flight RA-65691 of the airline RusAir (Русэйр) crashed and broke apart on landing, killing forty-seven out of fifty-two occupants.  This story is clearly indicated by prominent words in the week’s word cloud, such as “самолет” (airplane) and “петрозаводск” (Petrozavodsk).  One or both of these words appear in the week’s word clouds for both the Mainstream Media and TV.  The story apparently also received some prominent attention in the Government press, with “мчс” (acronym for the Russian Emergencies Ministry) appearing as one of the week’s highest frequency words for that news segment.  This theme seems to have been particularly picked up in Russian television, with additional words such as “авиакатастрофе” (aviation accident), “больницы” (hospitals), “погибших” (dead/deceased), “аэропорт” (airport), “пассажир” (passenger), “транспорт” (transportation), and “транспортакатастрофы” (transportation accident) featuring as unusually high frequency words visible in the segment-specific weekly word clouds.

A third significant set of stories of this week had to do with the appointments and nominations of officials for government positions.  Specifically, this included President Medvedev’s appointment of officials to fill leadership positions in the Ministry of the Interior (Министерство Внутренних дел Российской Федерации), the President’s apparent support for Saint Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko’s nomination as the new Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (Совет Федерации), and the reappointment of Yuri Chaika as Prosecutor General (Генеральный Прокурор) by the Federation Council.  These stories are indicated by the prevalence of words such as “министерства” (ministry), “внутренних” (internal), “совет” (council), “федерации” ([of the] federation), and “генерал” (general).  The coverage of these news events appears to have been particularly strong, not surprisingly, across the Government media segment, though they also have received some attention in TV, Mainstream Media, and Popular Blogs.

Below are the week’s comparative word clouds from each of the five media segments (TV, mainstream media, government, popular blogs, and a random sample of all blogs).  Click on these figures to view interactive word clouds from which to explore themes of interest.

Week of June 20 – June 26 (Red) Compared to June 13 – June 19 (Blue) for Russian TV:

Week of June 20 – June 26 (Red) Compared to June 13 – June 19 (Blue) for Russian Mainstream Media:

Week of June 20 – June 26 (Red) Compared to June 13 – June 19 (Blue) for Russian Government:

Week of June 20 – June 26 (Red) Compared to June 13 – June 19 (Blue) for Russian Popular Blogs:

Week of June 20 – June 26 (Red) Compared to June 13 – June 19 (Blue) for Russian Random  Blogs:

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