Television Continues to Decline in Russia, As Internet News Takes Hold

Pavel Golovkin / AP

A new sociological survey by the state-run polling agency VTsIOM shows that television continues to lose its hold on the public. For the past two years, the percentage of Russians who say they get their news from the TV has dropped 10 percent, as Russians who rely primarily on the Internet for news has grown by the same amount.

Though television is still the most common source of information about current events in Russia, 32 percent of the population now says it turns to the Web for its news. About half (52 percent) of Russians currently watch TV to learn about the news — down from 62 percent in 2015.

According to VTsIOM’s study, news sites, social media, and blogs are all gaining popularity simultaneously in Russia. Unsurprisingly, younger people are far likelier to rely on the Internet for information. Sixty-five percent of Russians between the ages of 18 and 24 get their news from the Web, and half of Russians between 25 and 34 say the Internet is their main source of news.

Trust in television is still significantly higher than trust in online sources. Seventy percent of Russians told VTsIOM that they trust the national networks, while 63 percent said they trust their local TV news stations. Less than half of Russians trust any other media source.

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