Russia’s politics are the center of public debate. Claims of Russian fake news and propaganda are only able to be assessed with difficulty in some cases. “Media reports and polarizing debates continue to worsen the climate. Even the Western media often portrays the relations in Russia in an abridged manner,” states Professor Heiko Pleines from the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen.
Bridge Between Science and Journalism
With the project entitled “Wissenstransfer hoch zwei: Russlandstudien,” the Research Centre for East European Studies turns scientific studies into the focus of public debates together with “dekoder - Russland entschlüsseln” and the University of Basel. New forms of science communication were developed and tested for this purpose. The online dossiers developed in the project, some of which are about the Crimea annexation, issues of national pride, and Russia’s identity, have now been honored with the Grimme Online Award in the category “special.”
According to the Grimme jury, the team was successfully in “bridging the gap between scientific and journalistic work. The portal, which was funded by a private sponsor and donations, not only offers translated current articles from independent, Russian media outlets, but also puts them into context and provides explanations where suitable.”
Professor Heiko Pleines is elated by this recognition. “Science communication has been important to us for many years - especially with regard to the many polemically discussed issues on which we work at the Research Centre for East European Studies. The many misunderstandings in the public debate on the Crimea annexation by Russia gave us new impulses. That is why we, together with our partner dekoder.org, created the first ever online dossier on this topic. We are very pleased that this work has now been honored with the Grimme Online Award.”
The project is being carried out in cooperation with the University of Basel, the professor of Eastern European history, Prof. Dr. Frithjof Benjamin Schenk, and dekoder.org, with financial support from the Stiftung für Medienvielfalt. The Volkswagen Foundation financed the project between January 2019 and May 2020.
Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines
Head of the Department of Politics & Economics
Research Centre for East European Studies
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-69602