Acclaimed journalist, author and documentary filmmaker Vladimir Pozner spoke with students in 400- and 500-level Russian courses on November 10 about the development of mass media in Russia, the deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations, and the changing nature of how information is received through technology.
Pozner traced journalism in Russia from the role of journalists as “soldiers of the ideological front” for the Soviet Union to the explosion of new voices under Gorbachev and the rise of journalists as video bloggers. He argued that today’s Russian mass media has returned in a way to the Soviet style despite the emergence of anti-Putin networks, and he lamented the growing trend in mass media in the U.S. and in Russia toward opinion-driven journalism.
After reciting from memory the opening stanzas of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, Pozner stressed the importance of literature as foundational knowledge for future U.S. experts on Russia and shared his concerns about U.S.-Russia relations and the real possibility of nuclear conflict. He fielded questions from students on independent fact checkers, the Spacebridge “Citizens’ Summit” of the 1980s, and his recent interview with U.S.-Russia relations expert Dmitri Trenin.
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The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) recently hosted Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Jill Dougherty, former CNN correspondent and instructor at Georgetown University, to lead a workshop entitled “How to Do a Television Interview.”
This summer, the Middlebury Institute brought together 13 distinguished fellows with 46 leading experts in U.S.-Russia relations for the fourth annual Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia (MSSR). These lectures are now available on the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies webpage.