№ 4, 2018
The article is devoted to the coverage of foreign states in the Russian mass media. On the basis of the global news flow theory, which is applied to the analysis of the Russian media for the first time, the author considers what countries the Russian media discuss the most, analyzes factors that explain a number of news pieces devoted to this or the other foreign country, and compares agendas for television and newspapers. The empirical data include the materials from the most quoted Russian TV channels and print newspapers for the year of 2017, presented in the database Factiva. In total, the author analyzes 26269 mentions of foreign countries in TV news and 39171 mentions of foreign countries in the articles in print newspapers. In order to reveal factors that explain the Russian media’s interest in different countries, the author builds several regression models. The independent variables include states’ geographical and economic characteristics as well as the intensity of the direct contacts between countries.
The research study demonstrates a rather important influence of the geographical, economic and relation-based factors on the number of mentions of this or the other state in the news. At the same time, the author identifies significant differences in the agendas between the Russian TV and the press. The final regression models that aggregate all variables have a much greater explanatory power in the case of the press than in the case of TV. The author hypothesizes that such differences may result from the fact that the Russian TV is more politically biased than the press and more responsive to the government demands. This may partially trump the importance of geographical, economic and other factors.
№ 1, 2018
The article analyzes how the Russian media cover activities of Alexei Navalny, an opposition politician. On the basis of the data from the company Medialogy, the author examines the intensity and tone of the discussion about Navalny in print and electronic newspapers, blogs, and also on the three largest federal channels — “Channel One”, “Russia-1” and “NTV”. Her research shows that the tendency to ignore Navalny’s activities is almost an exclusive feature of television, which seeks a trade-off between silencing this activity and discrediting the politician, while other types of media cover it quite widely. According to the author’s conclusion, Navalny attracts heightened attention due to both state actions directed against him, as well as his own political and anti-corruption activity.
Despite a slight increase in the share of positive messages in the discussion about Navalny, it is predominantly of a critical nature. Curiously, the tone of the discussion depends on the communication channel itself rather than the occurring events. Different types of media cover the politician’s activities in a different way: the same information can trigger criticism of Navalny in the traditional (pro-governmental) media and a campaign in his defense in the Internet publications and blogs.
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