Russia is no stranger to conflicts, but under Vladimir Putin its most enduring one may be the war over news and information. Over the past decade the Kremlin has virtually eliminated independent television broadcasters and tightened control over the Internet inside Russia.

Outside Russia, it’s also sought to offer its own version of the news in English and other languages. This is often an anti-American narrative about conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe and one that conflicts with that of other international news agencies. Meanwhile online, allies of the Kremlin have reportedly hired hundreds if not thousands of so-called “trolls” to spread disinformation on social media and in the comments section of news sites.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Russia’s information offensive.

Note this program was recorded in audio-only format.

Our guests this week:

  • Sara Firth, a journalist who worked for RT from 2009 to 2014. She resigned in protest in response to the network’s coverage of the MH17 plane crash.
  • Andrew Kramer, a Moscow-based correspondent for the New York Times.
  • Karina Orlova, a reporter for Echo of Moscow, a radio station based out of Moscow.
  • Maria Snegovaya, a columnist at Vedomosti, a Russian business daily newspaper. She’s also written for the New Republic and the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog on political science.