The PR battle for the Caucasus

The PR battle for the Caucasus

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Eduard Kokoity

President of the separatist Georgian province of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity (right).

The South Ossetian conflict, which began in early August this year, not only sparked a military war between Russia and Georgia, but a propaganda battle.

It even made the front-page of PR Week magazine in the UK.

Both countries have hired Western PR companies to help put across their messages.

Georgia was first off the mark with what many say is a concerted effort to portray its fight with Russia as a conflict between "David and Goliath" and Russia as the major aggressor.

From the outset, media channels of the Western world - primarily in the US - have been bombarded with press releases, interview offers and text messages.

Some critics say that they have become more and more exaggerated and less in touch with reality.

The Russians followed suit with their own PR effort. Adopting a very different style, they began primarily by using their own media outlets.

Experts say that the Russians have been more targeted with their approach.

Perhaps less concerned with their image abroad, they are said to have been more accurate in their version of events.

James Rodgers examines this ongoing media war between Georgia and Russia - featuring archive clips of key events and interviews.

The programme analyses who is winning the propaganda war and includes interviews with those who spun the war as well as with those who were spun to.

First broadcast 3 November 2008

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