MEDIA AND POLITICS
Prof Sarah Oates has studied the Russian media for the past 25 years and has published widely on how media subverts or supports democracy in a range of countries. Her most recent book (Revolution Stalled: The Political Limits of the Internet in the Post-Soviet Sphere, Oxford University Press) analyzed the potential of the internet to bring political change to Russia. She holds an MA and PhD in Political Science from Emory University and is Professor and Senior Scholar at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park. Prof. Oates is the co-developer of PropagandaIQ, a software application that combines human coding and machine learning to identify news narratives.
Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Lecture October 2021
REVOLUTION STALLED: THE LIMITS OF THE INTERNET IN THE POST-SOVIET SPHERE
From Amazon: Can the internet fundamentally challenge non-free regimes?
The role that social networking has played in promoting political change in the Middle East and beyond raises important questions about the ability of authoritarian leaders to control the information sphere and their subjects. Revolution Stalled goes beyond the idea of "virtual" politics to study five key components in the relationship between the online sphere and society: content, community, catalysts, control, and co-optation.
This analysis of the contemporary Russian internet, written by a scholar with in-depth knowledge of both the post-Soviet media and media theory, illuminates key components to how and when the internet can spark political action. With its analysis of current internet-linked protests in Russia, this book posits that there are critical pre-conditions that must exist for the internet to be used successfully to challenge non-free states. In particular, Russian leaders have made themselves vulnerable to online protest movements and online social entrepreneurs through their failure to control the internet as effectively as they have controlled traditional media. At the same time, Russia has experienced explosive growth in the online audience, tipping the balance of control away from state-run television and toward the more open online sphere.
Oates incorporates studies of small-scale protests involving health issues and children with disabilities to demonstrate that Russians have started to translate individual grievances into rising political awareness and efficacy via the online sphere. Her cases show that the Russian state has struggled to change its information and control strategy in the face of new types of information dissemination, networking, and protest. This new environment has transformed a state strategy of co-opted elections into a powerful catalyst for protests and demands for rights. While the revolution remains stalled, this book provides compelling evidence that a new and changing generation of internet users is beginning to alter the balance of power in the public sphere in Russia.
PUBLISHED WORK AND PAPERS (WITH MANY FREE DOWNLOADS!)
RUNNING WHILE FEMALE: USING AI TO TRACK HOW TWITTER COMMENTARY DISADVANTAGES WOMEN IN THE 2020 U.S. PRIMARIES
August 28, 2019
Sarah Oates, Olya Gurevich, Christopher Walker, and Lucina Di Meco.
Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting Political Communication Pre-Conference, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3444200
#KREMLIN: USING HASHTAGS TO ANALYZE RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION STRATEGY AND DISSEMINATION ON TWITTER
August 30, 2019
Sarah Oates and John Gray
Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3445180
PROJECTING POWER: UNDERSTANDING RUSSIAN STRATEGIC NARRATIVE
December 17, 2018
Sarah Oates and Sean Steiner. Russian Analytical Digest.
RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION IN U.S. NEWS
October 1, 2018
Sarah Oates, Joseph Barrow, and Bobbie Foster. October 2018. From Network to Narrative: Understanding the Nature and Trajectory of Russian Disinformation in the U.S. News. Paper Presented at the International Journal of Press/Politics Conference, Oxford UK
WHEN MEDIA WORLDS COLLIDE: USING MEDIA MODEL THEORY TO UNDERSTAND HOW RUSSIA SPREADS DISINFORMATION IN THE WEST
American Political Science Association 2018 Annual Meeting, Boston MA
TRUMP AND THE "OXYGEN OF PUBLICITY" PAPER
Oates, Sarah and Wendy W. Moe. August 2016. Donald Trump and the “Oxygen of Publicity”: Branding, Social Media, and Mass Media in the 2016 Presidential Primary Elections. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Political Communication Section, Philadelphia, PA
TRUMP AND OXYGEN OF PUBLICITY CHAPTER
Oates, Sarah. 2016. Trump, Media, and the “Oxygen of Publicity.” In Darren Lilleker, Daniel Jackson, Einar Thorsen and Anastasia Veneti (eds.) U.S. Election Analysis 2016: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Bournemouth UK: Bournemouth University Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture & Community: 22-25. ISBN 978-1-910042-10-6.
THE CASE FOR "LIBERATION JOURNALISM"
Oates, Sarah. May 2015. The Case for "Liberation Journalism:" Evidence From Russia That the Fourth Estate is Critical to Democracy in the Internet Age. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
RUSSIAN STATE NARRATIVE AND MH17
Oates, Sarah. August 2014. Russian State Narrative in the Digital Age: Rewired Propaganda in Russian Television News Framing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
INTERNET CHALLENGE TO RUSSIAN TV IN 2011-12 PROTESTS
Oates, Sarah and Tetyana Lokot. June 2013. Twilight of the Gods?: How the Internet Challenged Russian Television News Frames in the Winter Protests of 2011-12. Paper presented at the International Association for Media and Communication Research Annual Conference Dublin, Ireland.
TEXTBOOK: INTRO TO MEDIA AND POLITICS
Oates, Sarah. 2008. Introduction to Media and Politics. London: SAGE. ISBN-13978-1412902625
Download a chapter for free below.
OVERVIEW OF COURSES
I have taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including political communication, internet and politics, and research methods.