The aim of the study was to examine what role media diplomacy had in the representation of the Crimean crisis in the period of 2014-2015 by two state-owned media companies, namely BBC and Xinhua News Agency. To do that, the analysis was carried out in two separate levels. First, to identify the foreign interests of the countries in question, their representatives’ statements regarding the situation in eastern Ukraine presented in the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly meetings were studied. From this level of analysis, the patterns of countries’ foreign policy and interests emerged. The investigation of the statements delivered by the British delegates revealed four main patterns of foreign interests: For Ukraine, Against Russia, Demanding Russia’s Retreat, and International Community. In contrast, the foreign policy of China was characterized by four different themes: Objectivity and Impartiality, Opposing the Conflict, Non-violent Resolution, and International Cooperation. According to the identified patterns, the coding frame was divided into two parts, each corresponding to the country in question: coding frame for the news coverage of BBC was constructed according to the policy interests of the United Kingdom, while coding frame for the content published by Xinhua was created in relation to the expressed attitudes of the Chinese representatives. The second level of the research included the analysis of 50 articles published by BBC and 50 articles produced by Xinhua News Agency to analyze what role media diplomacy had in the news coverage in both stateowned media outlets. The results revealed that both newspapers were following the countries’ official stance while reporting the Crimean crisis. Even though the coverage of the conflict differed significantly, both differences and similarities were found while comparing the certain techniques media outlets relied on to represent the conflict. The differences included the application of the binary oppositions, as well as using personal stories in the news coverage which was observed in BBC articles but not incorporated by Xinhua. Regarding the similarities, both news outlets used the quotes or statements made by influential foreign actors to validate their countries’ stance as well as to make them appear as supported by the international community, both used quotations of the politicians or other officials to establish mostly an undisputed position and both were observed to be covering the Ukrainian conflict selectively.

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Nyirubugara, O
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Paičiūtė, Heda. (2020, June 29). Media Diplomacy in News Coverage of the Crimean Crisis by British and Chinese State-owned Media Outlets in 2014-2015. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from