Accepted Paper:

OSINT Through Text Mining: A case study of Russian and Chinese influence within Tajik media  


Victoria Breshears (The University of Texas at El Paso)

Paper long abstract:

Tajikistan is often ranked as the poorest member of the CIS as the mountainous and landlocked country has little economic prospects due to crumbling infrastructure. Recently, both Russia and China have provided military, economic and intelligence aid to Tajikistan citing the want of increased trade and the fight against Islamic extremism within the region. Using McCombs-Shaw's "agenda-setting" hypothesis in a case study format, I examine the influence of Russia and China on state and private media within Tajikistan's borders. I do so by using text mining and additional OSINT methods on original field data to complete a comparative analysis. The media that will be reviewed include print media (newspapers only) as well as digital news sites in the Tajik language. The findings from this case study will provide insight into Central Asian media strategy, which can assist those involved in OSINT within the defense and private sectors. I hope to also provide recommendations for further study on media agenda-setting in post-Soviet states as they become more politically and security relevant with countries such as Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar increasing their influence throughout the region by providing special project and security funding.

Panel POL-01
Soft Power, Information, and Framing