Thursday, December 28, 2023

For First Time Ever, More Russians Rely on Internet than on TV as Chief Source of News, VTsIOM Poll Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 26 – For the first time ever, more Russians rely on the Internet than on television as their chief source of news, 44 percent to 40 percent, according to a new VTsIOM survey, a development that must worry the Kremlin which has relied on state-controlled television to mobilize the Russian population behind it.

            One reason Russians are turning away from television is that ever fewer of them say that it provides “objective information.” The percentage saying that it does is now just over half of the share doing so seven years ago, 26 percent compared to 46 percent (

            Over the same period, the percentage of Russians who say they truest social networks and blogs as sources of reliable information has more than doubled to 24 percent, only two percent less than say they still trust television. And that figure reflects the continuing domination of tv viewing among pensioners rather than among younger Russians.

            These shifts do not mean that television is irrelevant, but they do mean that the internet has become far more important and influential and far more quickly than most suspected. And that casts doubt on the ability of Putin to rely on that medium to structure public opinion in support of his policies as well in the future as television has in the past. 

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