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Media Consumption in Russia

Media Consumption in Russia

Expert-trainer of the project “The Earth Is Flat - How to read media?”, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Moscow State University, host of the Telegram channel "Lessons of Empathy" Ekaterina Sivyakova prepared an analytical report on media consumption in Russia based on research by the Levada Center and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Russia.

Television remains the main source of information for most Russians, but its audience is gradually declining, according to the Levada Center, an analytical report entitled “Russian Media Landscape 2019: Television, the Internet, the Press, and Social Networks”. Over the course of 10 years, this figure fell from 94% to 72%. At the same time, the share of television content consumption depends on the age of Russians: the youngest is the least likely to receive news on television: this is 42% among Russians under 25 years old. And in the group of the oldest (65 years and older), this proportion is 93%.

Older Russians also actively use traditional media — radio and the press — to get information. At the same time, the audience of these media continues to decline significantly: in ten years it has more than halved, the report emphasizes. At the same time, the consumption of social networks is growing in Russia. The most popular among them are VKontakte (about 42% of Russians use them), Odnoklassniki (33%), YouTube (30%), and Instagram (23%). The largest growth in Russia is demonstrated by YouTube, Instagram, and VKontakte. It is social networks that are the main source of information for young people.

The Internet and social networks in recent years came in second place among the list of sources of information used by Russians. Over a decade, their audience has tripled: from 9% to a third of the country's population, according to a report by the Levada Center. At the same time, the key channels for content distribution are social services and search engines, among which the feed of the national search engine Yandex (almost 40% of Russians use them) and the Russian mail service Mail.ru (15%) stand out. Videoblogs show a noticeable growth within this group: about a third of Russians already watch them once a week or more often. Telegram channels are gaining popularity: they are considered an important source of news by approximately 1% of Russians.

The growing interest in digital technologies among Russian youth is also noted by the authors of the study of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Russia, “Generation of Putin: between loyalty and protest,” published in April 2020. The demand for digital methods of obtaining information is much higher than for analog, the report said. According to the fund, 84% of respondents receive information from the Internet, 50% — through television. At the same time, young people view television broadcasting rather as an additional source of information received from the Internet. However, the majority of young Russians surveyed by the foundation use the Internet mainly to communicate with friends or family (78%), as well as to study or work (58%).

Russian youth are characterized by a high level of involvement in interacting with the news, according to the “Report on the consumption of news information among young residents of large cities (diary research)” conducted by the Levada Center in March 2020. According to the study, three-quarters of young Russians sent a message to friends at least once, and half of the respondents marked “like” under the news. The authors of the report emphasize that the degree of interaction with the content depends on the type of news. Respondents more actively interacted with the news, which either concerned them personally (in this case, they shared this news more often) or related to their constant interests (in this situation, they often put reactions under the post).

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