Nyetwork News: The Convergence of the Russophobia Narrative in Russian Propaganda and Fox News in Election 2020

18 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2021

See all articles by Sarah Oates

Sarah Oates

Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Gordon Ramsay

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Olya Gurevich

Marvelous AI

Danielle Deibler

MarvelousAI; MarvelousAI

David Rubenstein

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 2, 2021

Abstract

This study demonstrates how the key ‘Russophobia’ narrative was woven both through Russian propaganda and Fox News coverage of the U.S. 2020 elections. As part of a larger study on how Russian propaganda narratives dovetail with rightwing media coverage in the U.S., this analysis uses human content analysis and machine learning to identify and track how a narrative that claimed criticism of Russia is based on Democratic paranoia was deployed on RT and Sputnik and echoed on Fox News. The study has three main goals. First, it presents the theory of ‘Nyetwork News,’ that former U.S. President Donald Trump and some American news outlets relied more on classic Russian techniques of propaganda than traditional U.S. news values. In addition, this paper identifies key elements of the Russophobia narrative, which is broader than any single frame or set of stories. Finally, this paper suggests two different methodological approaches to detecting Russian content in U.S. news. It demonstrates a way of combining human content analysis and machine learning to tag and trace news narratives on the MarvelousAI Story Arc system. We also use the open-source software tool Steno to detect the presence of Russian propaganda text in a broad sweep of U.S. media, with initial findings of a close relationship between Russian propaganda and the right-wing outlet Infowars.

Keywords: Russophobia, U.S. 2020 Elections, Russia, Trump, campaign narratives, machine learning, automated content analysis, Fox News, RT, Sputnik, InfoWars

Suggested Citation

Oates, Sarah and Ramsay, Gordon and Gurevich, Olya and Deibler, Danielle and Rubenstein, David, Nyetwork News: The Convergence of the Russophobia Narrative in Russian Propaganda and Fox News in Election 2020 (October 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3934064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3934064

Sarah Oates (Contact Author)

Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland ( email )

Knight Hall
College Park, MD 20742
United States
3014054510 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.media-politics.com

Gordon Ramsay

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Olya Gurevich

Marvelous AI ( email )

236 West Portal Drive
#860
San Francisco, CA 94127
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://marvelous.ai/

Danielle Deibler

MarvelousAI ( email )

236 West Portal Drive
#860
San Francisco, CA 94127
United States
415 763 8061 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://marvelous.ai

MarvelousAI ( email )

236 West Portal Drive
#860
San Francisco, CA 94127
United States
415 763 8061 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://marvelous.ai

David Rubenstein

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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