Whose Interests? US-Russian Foreign Policy Controversies in Russian American Ethnic Press



Russian ethnic press in the United States was examined to understand how political identity and loyalties are negotiated in conflictual situations. News coverage of eight foreign policy controversies was studied in terms of tone, emphasis—or lack thereof—on the conflict between the US and Russia, and attributes the newspapers assigned to the two countries. Most of the coverage was neutral in tone. The conflict was mostly de-emphasized. Attributes assigned to the two countries were in the middle of the conflict–cooperation spectrum, avoiding the extremes. These findings suggest that Russian American ethnic newspapers provide a balanced coverage of both the country of origin and that of adoption, thereby pointing to a hybrid political identity of their readers. However, when US security interests are perceived to be at stake, the said press tends to be more pro-American.