Staunton, May 3 – Russians still rely on state television more than any other media source, but they are less likely to rely on it as the only source of news especially about the opposition and foreign affairs and more likely to turn to the Internet, including blogs and social networks, for alternative information, according to a new VTsIOM poll.
Over the last two years, the polling agency says, the popularity of television as the main source of news has fallen from 62 percent to 57 percent of the Russian population, while those who say they make use of the Internet for new rose from 22 to 32 percent (znak.com/2017-05-03/vciom_rossiyane_stali_menshe_verit_televizoru_novostyam_pro_oppoziciyu_i_ekonomiku).
But Russians still trust central television more than other sources, and if the various media provide different stories, 46 percent of them are inclined to believe what television says. But that figure is down from 60 percent in 2013. Twenty-five percent say they would believe the Internet, but only two percent say they would be most likely to accept what newspapers say.
Asked to evaluate what subjects the news they get is unbiased, 55 percent say they consider reports about natural disasters to be such and 51 percent say the same about Russia’s status in the world. But 55 percent say the media are too upbeat about the state of the economy, and 19 percent say that news about the opposition presented it as “worse than it is.”