Peripheral Audiences and State Security: A Study of Risks and Benefits Associated with Media Use Among Border Populations in Ukraine
States rely on domestic mass media to cultivate sentiments of national belonging among citizens. If minorities engage less with domestic media than with foreign or transnational alternatives, this can prompt concern about societal cohesion and unwarranted foreign influence. Such concern is evident in Ukraine, where Russian influence on minorities is regarded as a particularly significant security threat. This project will investigate media use among audiences in Ukrainian border regions which are strategically important, yet not often studied: Zakarpattia in the west, Odesa region in the south and Sumy region in the east. Through structured, focused comparison, the project aims to explain (1) why levels of engagement with local, national and foreign/transnational media vary within and across ‘peripheral’ regions; and (2) how media use among ‘peripheral’ audiences can undermine and/or benefit state security, broadly defined.
Principal Investigator: Dr Joanna Szostek, University of Glasgow