Last Updated 21 Apr 2020

Western Media on Pussy Riot

Category Media
Essay type Research
Words 1928 (7 pages)
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The Pussy Riot case has received much attention around the world based on the ethics of the court’s decision and freedom of expression. The Western media covers the news with facts with truth and consistency, however the information presented shows a favourite towards the side of the Russian band Pussy Riot and against the Putin government. Canadian news such as CTV, CBC and music news like Much Music covered the story with facts of Canadian citizens protesting against Pussy Riot’s two-year sentence to jail. The news has covered people protesting with signs on the street and using bias language against the Russian government.

The United States’ news has also played a big role in supporting the band’s fight for freedom. News networks such as CNN, The Wall Street Journal and MTV have covered the news with favoured sided facts for the band. Stories of protest and government officials’ disapproval of the band’s sentence have all been published to the western public resulting in citizens fighting for the Russian band. Social networks such as Twitter played a big role in support of the band’s freedom. Celebrities such as Madonna and Jesse McCartney have also played a role in supporting for the Band.

Western world views the court sentencing as a violation of freedom of speech. Western news cover stories with the question what, where, when rather to why. The western news reveals all the facts, however does not stress on the why and the reasons for the Russian court’s decisions. The readers receive a sense of injustice and wrong when reading news about the Pussy Riot’s case. The western world stresses on freedom and democracy and the Russian court imposed a strict and intolerance towards some sorts of behaviour of expression. The western news had made a positive outcome for the punk band, Pussy Riot.

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CTV, CBC and Much Music have covered news of Canadian citizens showing support for the Band. News about the band’s arrest initiated as an arrest for freedom of speech against the Russian government. The news has escalated when the band got sentenced for two years for “hooliganism” and religious hatred. News headlines such as “ Imprisoned Pussy Riot face tough life in penal colony” by CTV, “Pussy Riot supporters protest outside consulate in Toronto” and “Pussy Riot protest: Conviction of anti-Putin Pussy Riot band sparks worldwide protests” by CBC implies a dissent on the Russian court’s decision.

Canadian news reports that the band faces charges for expressing their political views in a democratic country and North America have expressed disapproval to this action. Fans and Canadian supporters of freedom of expression have expressed their disapproval to the world by protesting on the streets, reported by news reports, and using social networks such as Twitter. Much Music has posted pictures of people protesting with signs that declare, “Punk Rock is not a crime”, “Protect freedom of expression” and “free Pussy Riot”. These declarations exhibit a definite support for the band and disapproval for the Russian court’s decision.

An example of Canadian news support of the band is CTV’s news report when the band was sentenced to jail Outside the Russian consulate on Bloor Street, about 100 people carried placards and musical instruments, The Canadian Press reported. "I felt it was so wrong on so many levels I felt I had to do something,” Toronto organizer Lynn Flatley told CTV’s Canada AM Friday morning, before the protest began. “I had never done anything like this but it was a tipping point for me. ” Another protest got underway outside the Russian embassy in Ottawa around 1 p. m. hile another was scheduled to start at 6 p. m. in Montreal. The three band members, two of whom have young children, have been in jail since March when they burst into a cathedral during services and recited a ‘punk prayer’ calling on the Virgin Mary to protect Russian citizens from Vladimir Putin, who was set to win a new term as president at the time. (CTV news: Pussy Riot supporters protest conviction outside consulate in Toronto) CTV has published the protester’s passion about their objection of the band’s sentence by quoting one of the protesters and describing the event.

Also CTV has also mentioned that the band members have young children and describe they have been in jail since March, which implies an unfavourable and detest for the decision of the Court. CTV has insinuated questions of ethics such as “How can they sentence mothers to jail? ” and “ Why is the government against freedom of expression? ” Western News also criticised the Russian government since Pussy Riot’s actions was a protest against the Putin government. Much Music has informed Canadian music fans with bias information “Today Russian punks Pussy Riot received a two-year sentence for “hooliganism. That, of course, is in the eyes of their country’s authorities, but what the band were charged with was simply speaking out against a ruthless government. Knowing they weren’t likely to get off, they prepared a new single to help spread the message about the importance of free speech, with the song “Putin Light Up The Flames. ” (Much Music News) Much Music has claimed the Russian government to be “ruthless” because they sentence a band for simply “speaking out”. Much Music, and other Canadian news, described the actions of Pussy Riot to be innocent.

Pussy Riot has an opinion and their actions have made a controversy against the Russian government. Canada is known to be a democratic and free society and the actions of the Russian government have proven to have strict rules for freedom of expression. Canadian media is playing a big role in getting Canada rallied up against the Russian court. According to the rules of media ethics it is considered unethical for the media’s invention of the state, however Canadians are protesting for what they believe is right and that is the right of freedom of expression.

The United States’ media reports on facts of the event. Similar to Canadian news, the media reports on facts that undermine the Russian court’s decisions. America’s news covered the story about Pussy Riot’s sentencing using words such as “lack of freedom of speech in Russia” and “restricting the freedom of expression and association” (CNN news). CNN covered news with quotations of the people involved on the case. Amnesty International and the UN have gotten involved of the Pussy Riot case with disapproval of the court’s decision.

America’s government officials have also gotten involved by declaring protest against the court. CNN had reported all negative quotes and comments of the decision of the court, John Dalhuisen, director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Program, urged Russian authorities to overturn the sentence and release the trio unconditionally. He also highlighted recent measures "restricting the freedom of expression and association" introduced after a wave of popular protests that accompanied elections earlier this year. This trial is another example of the Kremlin's attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire," he said. Human Rights Watch also said the women should never have been prosecuted for a hate crime. "The charges and verdict against the Pussy Riot band members distort both the facts and the law," Hugh Williamson, the rights group's Europe and Central Asia director, said in a statement. This paragraph demonstrates that the Russian court’s decision on sentencing Pussy Riot in jail is absolutely unethical.

The band sentenced for “hooliganism” and religious hate crime by the Russian court have turned to violation of freedom of expression that violates rules of Human Rights. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, thought the jail sentencing was “too harsh” and the US Embassy in Moscow has claimed the sentence to be “disproportionate”. The US’s media reports their facts with quotes to support and strengthen the authenticity of story and therefore reinforce their disapproval of the Russian court.

MTV have reported celebrities’ protest for the band. Madonna recently performed a riot-styled show wearing a mask, like what Pussy Riot did during their protest, during one of her shows in Moscow. Jesse McCartney had showed support for the band by using Twitter for expression. Celebrities have a huge influence on the world and it is another type of media that shows support towards Pussy Riot. America has a huge influence on the world and that influence may or may not help the band’s fight for freedom, however America’s media definitely implies strong condemnation for Russia’s government.

Western media has shown strong evidence of support for Pussy Riot. The media hasn’t necessarily agreed with the band’s actions but they definitely do not agree the band’s sentence to jail for expressing their opinion. North Americans have shown support with protests on the streets and expressing their dissent by using social networks like Twitter. Canadian news reports show pictures and videos of people protests and American news like to use a lot of quotes that express dissent from important world figures.

These obviously show a bias support for the band. The Western media fails to cover the side of the Russian’s court and the Church’s views and to why Pussy Riot was sentenced for 2 years. The band has protested against Putin’s government in a very important orthodox church in Russia that may have led to emotional undertakings. Whether or not the Pussy Riot’s sentence was too harsh or not, the Western media only portrayed a negative effect on the Russian court and a favour for the band’s freedom of expression.

The protest from the Western citizens could have been influence by the Western news or may be influence by people’s justice to right of expression since Canada and America embrace the notion of freedom and expression. Current situation The three band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samustevich were arrested and threatened with seven years’ imprisonment. Their pretrial detention were extended for month, and finally on August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of hooliganism, and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

On the appeal hearing on October 1, 2012, Samustevich terminated the representation of her defense attorney because of the conflict of their position. On October 10, Samustevich’s new attorney filed another appeal for Samustevich and argued that Samustevich did not committed hooliganism in the church, because “cathedral guards had stopped Samutsevich before she had time to get her guitar out of its case”. The appeal was accepted and the court released Samutsevich with two years in probation. The court upholds the conviction and sentences for the other two band members.

The release of the Pussy Riot video had a significant impact on Russian society and the public debate. Since Russia is a regime that believes imprisonment can repress people’s political objection, the Pussy Riot’s case start the public debate of the involvement of the Catholic Church in politics, women’s right and freedom of expression. However, one of the outstanding factors of the Pussy Riot case was the numerous coverage over social media. According to the media monitor News Effector, 86% of the world mass media had covered the Pussy Riot case.

Compare to the Iraq, news reporters had limited and censored information from the government. However, regarding to the Pussy Riot case, the media’s establishment had been pushed to a higher lever. Right and left wings, celebrities, and supporters were all engaged in the debate o the Pussy Riot trial. Due to the massive media coverage, Pussy Riot was treated more like a positive propaganda. Western media coverage tend to became more subjective and assertive, they “failed to mention” several crucial points in order to get more supportive comments. ?

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Western Media on Pussy Riot. (2018, Jul 17). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/western-media-on-pussy-riot/

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