The Russian Crisis Communication Response Beyond Mh17 Tragedy
Effective crisis communication response through using the proper strategies is critical to cope with crises and to protect the reputation and existence of the involved parties. Usually, aviation accidents receive great attention from the media and the public. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) which was shot down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014 during its scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur received global attention. This attention was due to the involvement of several countries either at the level of the countries of victims or the countries accused of the attack. Image repair theory proposed by William Benoit, the widely used in crisis communication response was implemented in this study. The Russian response to the international accusation, especially from the Western world on supporting the attackers of MH17 has been examined in this study. This study implemented both quantitative and qualitative content analysis to achieve its aims. A total of 306 news stories from the online New Straits Times newspaper Website from the years 2014 to 2019 were analysed. A total of 191 strategies were included in 123 news stories since some stories combined more than a strategy. Out of 191 strategies, 43.5% were simple denial, followed by shift the blame and attack accuser with 35.1% and 21.5% respectively. The results revealed that the image repair effort by Russia was effective and successful.
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