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 Gas War: The Presidents Step Up

How do the mass media influence the public opinion - on this question Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States (the country that practically has a monopoly in the world media) has a clear answer: you need to constantly remember that it is important what the listener hears and not what we say; not what we offer but how the receiver forms an impression.

Pr-z.com.ua" writes that paraphrasing this idea, we can say that it's not important what is said but how it is said. According to Heorhiy Pocheptsov, DLitt, Professor of the National Academy of State Management under the President of Ukraine and Mariupol State Humanitarian University, "the information technology does not care about content. It cares about technological aspect of strengthening the reliability of its message... As the result the persuasiveness of telling wins over the persuasiveness of any fact.

So how does the media 'hack' the public opinion?

1. The credibility of the source. The tensions in gas matter between Ukraine and Russia are being pumped up not behind the scenes but by the central TV channels. In this regard a story shown by Channel 1 of the Russian television on August 4, 2011 is demonstrative.

2. Flashy and provocative headlines. Take a look at some: "Current Ukrainian Government is Once Again Demanding Russia to Decrease the Gas Prices", "Ukrainian Gas Scam. Russia is Shocked", "Nobody has Stiffed Russia that Bad. Especially Ukraine", 'If the Kremlin Had any Idea that Yanukovych Could Slap the Russian Leaders so Easily, He Would Never Become the President".

3. Negative tone of information statements. This tone can be achieved with the help of:

- rhetorical questions: "It is interesting that every year Ukrainians, no matter who is in power, practically ask Russia to subsidize their economy with cheap gas?"

- imperatives: "Ukraine has to find a decision for this problem in the nearest future"

- negative characteristics including the chief statesmen: "dead beat Ukraine", "decaying gas transportation system", "wonderful combination that they never dreamed about...", "Which opportunities is Yanukovych planning to exhaust he did not say. Probably because there are none"

- contrast-irony: "And what do our Ukrainian friends want? Nothing less that cheap gas. But preferably completely free. This has been their cherished dream for all twenty years of independent Ukraine being dependent on Russian carbohydrates"

- sarcasm: "Russian-Ukrainian relations stink of gas again. And the source is once again in Kiev. This is an old joke everyone knows..."

- direct insults: "(Ukraine) can stay without the opportunity to extort Russia and Europe every winter...", "it is some peculiarity of the Ukrainian foreign policy - to loudly proclaim...", "Russia panicking and foaming discusses the great Ukrainian cunning..."


Political Elite

To emphasize the information effect the first person of the state are often engaged the people who have the authority and weight. Two examples of such statements:

"For some reason they say that WTO does not allow them to be in the Customs Union. It is a little bit strange. For some reason the WTO does not keep us from joining the Customs Union and for them it does. But this is internal evaluation", Dmitriy Medvedev.

"Yanukovych is too rough and too greedy!", Vladimir Zhyrinovskiy, deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma (Parliament).

It should be noted that the first statement is illogical. Simply because Ukraine has joined the WTO and Russia has not. The second one is emotional and is unacceptable in diplomacy. However, all these moments are 'smoothed' by the reputation of the authors.

Trolls and independent bloggers

The so-called Internet trolls and independent bloggers can join the fight. The popular Internet term does not refer to the fairy tale character:

Troll (according to Wikipedia) such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

And trolls do not act based on their personal believes but usually in accordance with a specific hiring agreement for a specific price. Thus, trolling is a type of political prostitution on Internet. Regretfully, there are more and more trolls on the Ukrainian news websites who pour oil on the anti-Ukrainian pan.

Thus, using the example of the new developing Russian-Ukrainian gas conflict we have shortly viewed the technologies of waging an information war. What conclusions from the above mentioned analysis can be made in regard to Ukraine?

Firstly, gas tensions prove that passive and exclusively defensive position leads to an inevitable defeat in the information war.

Secondly, for successful resistance from the information attacks a special infrastructure needs to be developed. And the infrastructure must react 24-hours. In this regard the American and Chinese authorities stand out: they created specialized divisions for fighting and preventing negative information occurrence.

And thirdly, each of us should strive to be critical to any information. Trust but check is your must. It is said that regular Russians are being imposed with a negative opinion about Ukrainians.

 
 
 
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