Aliaksandr Herasimenka awarded top paper at the International Communication Association (ICA)
The Political Communication Division of the International Communication Association (ICA) awarded Aliaksandr Herasimenka, a Doctoral Researcher at CAMRI, with the 2019 Top Student Paper Awards. The organising committee of the conference noted that the paper was selected among “more than 400” full papers submitted to the Political Communication Division and undergone a peer-review process before the author was invited to the conference. The Political Communication Division is the second-largest division of the ICA.
The paper was titled “Coordinating a Political Campaign on a Messaging Platform: The Case of the Navalny Organisation in Russia”. It explored how digital activists use Telegram, a messaging platform, to build their organisation and coordinate their actions during recent protests in Russia. His The paper discussed the ways of overcoming obstacles of digital political communication with the use of the messaging platform. It examined how the encrypted platform Telegram is used to overcome three common obstacles encountered by political activists in non-democratic countries: state surveillance, persecution of leaders and digital censorship. He also focused on the two political campaigns of Alexei Navalny in Russia in the period of 2017-18. Arguing that the use of a messaging platform in an authoritarian political communication environment enables the three following organizational adaptations: segmentation of the organizational structures, the emergence of pseudonymous interjacent spokespeople and the adoption of the three-step scheme of information distribution.