Reproducing the Imprint of Power: Framing the “Creative Class” in Putin’s Russia

Volha Kananovich, Frank D. Durham


This textual analysis traces the framing of the 2011–2012 anti-Kremlin protests in Russia by the nation’s most popular tabloid, Komsomol’skaya Pravda. The findings show that the otherwise agnostic newspaper came to adopt Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric challenging the protesters, who represented the emerging, Internet-savvy, professional “creative class.” As this tug-of-war over Putin’s political prerogative to define the creative class in contemporary Russia developed in print, the newspaper was transformed from an apolitical, commercial tabloid operating beyond the scope of Putin’s media control into a quasi pro-government organ that would adopt Putin’s framing to marginalize social dissent long after the rallies declined. By examining the newspaper’s development of its pro-Putin interpretive package, this study provides insight into the expansion of neo-Soviet, state–media tensions affecting the ostensibly apolitical sector of commercialized, privately owned press in post-Soviet Russia.


framing, creative class, interpretive package, Vladimir Putin, Russia, Komsomol’skaya Pravda

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