Baltic States and the ZAPAD 2017 exercise in the Western media: implications for small state strategic communication
Every now and then, somewhere in the world events take place that are regarded as having International news value. Nowadays, it is easy to become a mediated observer and to have an opinion about something that happens on the other side of the world. In September 2017, the Russian Federation’s Zapad military exercise was an event which gained widespread media attention on an international scale. It brought unusually large media coverage to the Baltic States due to their geographic closeness to the exercise area and the fact that the Russian Federation is their most important security threat. The study researches the messages that spread in Western online news media which have a strong potential to influence the perception of the Baltic States among the allies and their societies at large. The aim of this study is to examine how the Baltic States were presented in the Western media in the context of the Zapad-2017 excercise and indicate lessons for strategic communication.