Propaganda Pivot: From Covid to Ukraine

The SPR Media Navigator (SPR)

Published: February 23, 2022 (upd.)
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From pandemic propaganda back to war propaganda.

During the last two years, geopolitical propagandists have had rather little to do – with the partial exception of quickly blaming China for the pandemic. With the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, the following “propaganda pivot” can now be observed:

  • Liberal media close to NATO/CFR (e.g. CNN, New York Times, Guardian, Wikipedia) have promoted covid propaganda and continue to promote NATO propaganda.
  • Conservative media close to NATO/CFR (e.g. Fox News, Wall Street Journal, Telegraph) partially questioned covid propaganda, but now promote NATO propaganda.
  • Independent liberal/left media (e.g. OffGuardian, Grayzone) mostly questioned covid propaganda (WSWS did not, for instance) and mostly question NATO propaganda.
  • Independent conservative/libertarian media (e.g. ZeroHedge, Unz Review) mostly questioned covid propaganda and continue to question NATO propaganda.

Some “semi-independent” media outlets, both liberal and conservative, have not yet decided how to position themselves or remain ambivalent (e.g. Breitbart, Democracy Now).

A few seemingly independent media outlets that became popular during the pandemic, especially on the conservative side, have switched to NATO/CFR propaganda (e.g. Reitschuster in Germany).

Some fully independent media outlets may be described as “pro-Russian” (e.g. The Saker), but most aren’t: they simply don’t like propaganda, whether on pandemics or on geopolitics.

Finally, there are some English-language Russian media outlets, such as Russia Today (state-owned) or New Eastern Outlook and Strategic Culture (published by Russian think tanks).

Read more: The Media Navigator (US/UK) and Der Medien-Navigator (German)

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