SOVIET PERIODICAL PRESS AS A SOURCE ON THE HISTORY OF NATIONAL MOVEMENTS AND ETHNIC POLITICAL CONFLICTS IN THE USSR REPUBLICS (1987-1991)
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The paper is aimed at elaborating a set of methods for the analysis of periodical media as a source in studying the history of national movements in the USSR in 1987–1991. The authors postulate the necessity of finding a new approach different from that applied to analysis of the Soviet print media of previous periods. Along with formal retaining of censorship, ‘glastnost’ and contention within Soviet and national elites led to the situation when information featured in mass media was a multi-faceted reflection of historic events. Broad range of views and opinions then existed and application of comparative technique allows us to restore an objective picture of historic reality of national movements’ activity during the Perestroika. The technique of source analysis of periodical press material on national movements includes several levels of research: 1) studying particular material of individual publications in republican and central mass media; 2) diachronic analysis of material published in individual editions, identifying evolution of their social and political character, economic ownership or ideological bias; 3) combination of historic comparative analysis and semiotic analysis. The most promising area for comparative analysis is print media in Russian, which was aimed at channeling information both to regional and federal public. Only such complex approach enables us to refer to periodical print media as a source in history.
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