"And Our Words Must be Constructive!" : On the Discordances of Glasnost' in the Central Asian Press at a Time of Conflict

Madeleine Reeves

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Abstract

This article explores the unmaking of authoritative discourse in the Central Asian press during perestroika. Studies of the Soviet press have often drawn attention to the momentous changes brought about by Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost’ in the second half of the 1980s. This article considers how such changes were reflected in the reporting of one significant event of inter-communal and trans-boundary conflict along the borders of the Kyrgyz and Tajik ssrs in 1989. Through a close analysis of the differential reporting of events in central, republican and provincial press, the article argues for the need to ‘provincialise’ our account of perestroika: that is, to attend to its differential dynamics in different parts of the Soviet Union, and the implications for journalists and editors negotiating the demands of ‘constructive speech’ at a time of mounting commentary on the relationship between truth, rumour and inter-ethnic conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-110
Number of pages34
JournalCahiers d'Asie Centrale
Volume26
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2016

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