How American Media Is Repurposed By Adversaries Abroad: From Russian Coverage Of Its Ukraine Invasion To Iranian Sanctions

One of the many fascinating elements of Russian domestic television coverage of its invasion of Ukraine is the way to which it repurposes US and European news coverage to advance its arguments. Russia is far from the first to do so, however, and it is fascinating to look across the world at how US and EU media has appeared on television news coverage in each country over the years.

One interesting example is this August 4, 2011 broadcast on Iran's IRIB2 television channel that touts a Washington Post article titled "Iran sanctions failing" that can be seen in the header of this post. Such repurposing of American media by repressive regimes to advance their arguments to their domestic audiences raises fascinating questions about the interplay of American media's focus on informing the public with a public interest in not assisting US adversaries.

Are there ways that US coverage could both inform and be less amenable to such repurposing?

The technology exists today to scan television news at scale for appearances of major media outlets and it would be fascinating to see the Visual Explorer's downloadable preview image ZIP files used for this. Today a single undergraduate student for a class project could use the Visual Explorer's archives to scan for appearances of newspapers like the Washington Post across television news from around the world over the years with just their laptop and compile an inventory that could be used to understand these subtle interplays.

We'd love to see research like this – if you are teaching a computer science or communications course or just an interested data scientist looking for a fun project, we'd love to talk with you!