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2/8 Khitrovsky Pereulok, Building 5 (metro «Kitay-Gorod», «Kurskaya», «Chistiye Prudy»)

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Eduard Viktorovich Bondarenko
First Deputy Director Eduard Viktorovich Bondarenko
Ekaterina Semenova
Deputy Director Ekaterina Semenova
Deputy Head Tatiana Tikhomirova
Deputy Head Oleg Dmitriev
Book chapter
ZenPropaganda: A Comprehensive Study on Identifying Propaganda Techniques in Russian Coronavirus-Related Media

Chernyavskiy A., Shomova S., Dushakova I. et al.

In bk.: Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024). ELRA and ICCL, 2024. P. 17795-17807.

Working paper
Yves Montand in the USSR interviews, source

Lapina-Kratasyuk E., Oiva M.

Haastatteluaineisto Yves Montand Neuvostoliitossa, lähdemateriaali. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:lb-2020081502. The Language Bank of Finland, 2021

Your Single Voice Can Be Louder Than The Group : A Conversation with Rory Suchet

On 11 March 2024, Rory Suchet, news anchor of Russia Today, came to the media studio of HSE university on Khitrovskiy Pereulok in the very heart of Moscow to meet and talk with students from the HSE University Institute of Media. The discussion was moderated by Oleg Dmitriev, the deputy head of the HSE University Institute of Media. This event was streamed online and attracted viewers from various countries.

Your Single Voice Can Be Louder Than The Group : A Conversation with Rory Suchet

© Vladimir Volkov

Rory Suchet at first told the students about his early years in journalism. «I was sucked into the media by accident», —  said Rory Suchet. He was born in the UK and later went to college in America. During that time, he got a job at a rock radio station by chance. After 9/11 Suchet decided to switch to «serious» journalism and started working for CNN international.

CNN vs RT

During the conversation, Suchet offered insights into main differences between CNN and RT, comparing his working experiences at these two channels. In Suchet’s opinion, at CNN or other American mainstream channels, there was an «understood narrative» where Russia, China, Palestine are always described in negative terms. Giving the example of the coverage on Israel-Palestine conflict in 2023, in CNN’s news, there is a clear bias towards Israel and CNN should support Israel under any circumstances in order to fit the narratives.

While Suchet was still working at CNN, he already had a great interest in RT. «They can say everything that I cannot say on CNN, they can do all the stories that I cannot touch». Said Suchet, referring to RT. While the US mainstream media covered the story in one tone, RT tried to offer different angles for reports, for example, the news coverage on the Syrian civil war and Israel-Palestine conflict.

Furthermore, Suchet described RT as a «sovereign network». In his explanation, A lot of channels, including CNN, BBC, MSNBC, earned their money by advertisements and selling airtime, in which case, journalists are not allowed to say anything that might upset their sponsors. However, RT never chases advertisers’ money. Though RT is funded by the Russian government, the Russian government never put limits on what reporters could say, according to the presenter.

In Suchet’s words, he discovered press freedom when he switched from CNN to RT. «We (RT) are not toning narratives, we're trying to find the uncomfortable truth. We can push without worrying about upsetting anybody»,  Suchet’s remarkable words inspired journalism students in the room. «My colleagues in Europe and America think that I'm here pushing a narrative, but what I’m doing is, I’m taking their narratives and I’m breaking it, said the journalist, «Your single voice can be louder than the group. You can truly make a difference, because more and more people now are losing trust in mainstream media and turning to alternative ones».

When asked about his experience in Russia, Suchet joked that he is still not used to the Russian winter after all these years. Before coming to Russia, he had heard of many stereotypes and bad rumors about this country, but after seeing Russia with his own eyes, Suchet said «I was so wrong and embarrassed. The people were nice, everything I heard about Russia before is so untrue».

What impressed Suchet the most is Russian banya. It could seem a little intimidating, but once Suchet got used to it, he fell in love with banya. He believed that for him «Russia is the right place to live» and he loves Russian culture, food and people.

Question Time

Nearing the end of the conversation, several students from the HSE University Institute of Media discussed their questions with Suchet. Liubov Chemodanova from the programme «Mediacommunications» talked with Suchet about the current state of the American mainstream media. What Suchet believed is that the American audience needed to wake up from mainstream narratives. The good sign is that more people are reaching out to alternative media and citizen journalists. And he believed that if given the audience enough time and space, the narratives will change in the future.

Sophia Kukarina, a first year «Journalism» student hoped that Suchet would give some advice to future journalists. The key elements, in his view, is «Speaking from the heart» and «waking up from lies, from mainstream narratives”. Furthermore, no matter what we aspire to be in the media field, just «start doing it», start with little things, build up and keep trying. In the end, he sincerely advised all students to think outside the mainstream media framework, to «keep our mind clear, independent and do our own work».

 Zhang Tiany