Russian media critic named visiting fellow

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Vasily Gatov, a Russian media researcher and author based in Boston, has been named a visiting fellow with the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. Gatov, 49, has more than 28 years of professional experience in domestic and international media.

“With his impressive background in both academia and journalism, Vasily Gatov is in a position to make an important contribution to issues of the kind that CCLP tackles on a regular basis,” said CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan. “We are looking forward to research, blogs and conversations that will build on his experience with new media and with the challenges that face the Russian press, and to conversations about the role of propaganda and public diplomacy as practiced by Russian state television.”

Gatov is currently working on a book tentatively titled Life, Censored, about the re-emergence of totalitarian censorship of the Russian media. Based on a series of interviews with politicians, government officials, corporate managers, editors, journalists, lobbyists and political consultants, Gatov’s research will attempt to “define the exact logic of the ‘new censorship’ framework and expose its machinery.”

He will also focus on various topics in the field of communications and media. “My interests cover the media technology, new business and organizational models of media companies, media effects and the ‘digital’ specifics of those,” said Gatov.

Gatov’s experience includes reporting on such important events in Russia’s history as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the 1991 failed coup’d’├ętat, Boris Yeltsin’s presidency and the first Chechen war (1994-1997). He later served as an executive and strategist for several Russian media companies, including RenTV network, Media3 (Russia’s largest print conglomerate in 2007-2012), and RIA Novosti, a national multimedia news agency. While working for RIA Novosti (2011-2013), Gatov founded Novosti Media Lab, the research and development company, fostering innovation in communication and the social impact of media.

He is a regular contributor to industrial and general publications, both in Russia and globally. He is also a board member in Russian Publishers Guild (GIPP) and WAN-IFRA (world association of newspapers and news publishers).

Gatov’s academic research interests cover the issues of the technological effect on media development as an institution, the censorship and media effects, and media innovation.

Read Gatov’s first blog post for CCLP, an analysis of the Russian media’s response to the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, here.