What aspects of diplomats’ work do the photoes show?

What role do the mass media play in diplomacy?

Which of the following should diplomats focus on more in their work and why?

  • home news
  • world news
  • opinion columns
  • blogs written by ordinary people
  • blogs written by experts
  • talk-shows
  • gossip columns about lives of famous politicians, movie stars, musicians
  • tweets posted by politicians
  • tweets posted by ordinary people
  • articles providing in-depth analysis of the current issues

Speak about common criticisms of Mass Media

Do you agree that:

  • All news coverage has political bias.
  • Reporters don’t tell the whole story.
  • Reporters sensationalize the facts.
  • Journalists are responsible for disseminating fake news.
  • The media exaggerate negative news.

How do you think diplomats can get the most extensive coverage of a foreign military conflict?

Qs (to practise TV):

  1. Is it home news or international news that usually receives the most coverage in Russian news bulletins? Why?
  2. Which news outlets do you think provide full coverage of international news? Is this coverage unbiased?
  3. Why do some media outlets disseminate fake news?
  4. Why is the press referred to as the fourth estate?
  5. Why do the mass media hunt for scoops?
  6. What is the role of the mass media during the election campaign? How do politicians use the mass media to undermine their opponents’ reputation?
  7. How is propaganda used in a dictatorship?
  8. Give examples of censorship.
  9. What tricks do journalists use to whitewash politicians’ failings or unpopular policies?
  10. What actions of the mass media constitute a violation of the law?
  11. How do the mass media usually respond when they are accused of libel? Why do you think it is not easy for a public figure to restore his or her reputation after being defamed by the mass media?
  12. Do celebrities welcome or disapprove of the mass media intruding on their privacy? Why?
  13. How would you evaluate the quality of the Russian news media? Give a well-reasoned answer.
  14. Do you agree with the author that the news media cater to the interests of the public and provide the content that matches the audiences’ demands? Or do you think it is the news media that demoralize society? Provide your reasoning.
  1. What techniques does a media outlet employ if it has bias against the candidate’s opponent / shows obvious bias in favor of a political candidate?
  2. Is it possible to eliminate bias in news coverage? Can the state secure its citizens from biased media coverage?
  3. Should the state reserve the right to punish the media outlet if it shows strong bias against a particular ethnic or social group (e.g. immigrants)? Or would such punishment violate freedom of expression?
  4. Is propaganda an effective means of manipulation in a totalitarian state? Do you have any reservations about its capacity to influence people?
  5. Do you think dissemination of fake news may result in deterioration of the political situation in a state and even undermine stability and peace?
  6. What novel by George Orwell typifies tight restrictions imposed on freedom of expression?
  7. How can the mass media slant statistics or survey results? Do they just present inaccurate numbers (virtually lie) or do they use some other, more subtle (изощренный) means of manipulating the data?
  8. Can you recall some historical examples when society was polarized on religious / ideological grounds?
  9. Why are some mass media prone to exaggeration?
  10. What measures do the mass media take to increase their revenue?
  11. Do you think the mainstream media in Russia cater to a wide range of interests or do they target particular social groups?
  12. Should diplomats articulate their country’s foreign policy as well as tactics and strategies clearly and openly at press conferences and other meetings with journalists? Why / Why not?
  13. With the mainstream media credibility in shreds how can you keep up with the latest news?
  14. Is it ethical to offer financial incentives to journalists for slanting news? Why / Why not?
  15. Recall some TV programmes, channels, or sites that cater to the interests of a niche audience.
  16. How should the news media cover catastrophes or terror attacks? Should they present the elaborate details of the event or avoid doing it? Why / Why not?