The Representation of the Federal Elections of 2011 and 2012 in Russia by the Major National Television Channels
The programs of Russian TV channels in the context of electoral campaigns have repeatedly been selected as a subject of social surveys. The proposed paper is based on the results of content analysis of informational programs of the three major channels Pervij, Rossija-1 and NTV – during the Duma campaign of 2011 and the presidential campaign of 2012. The research findings demonstrate the thematic and contextual features of the programs, tones and mentioned persons. It is shown that the representation of the electoral competition was mostly imitative. The governing party (“United Russia”) and the authorities’ candidate (Vladimir Putin) were presented mostly as officials at work, which gave them certain advantages. There were no principal differences in the position of various channels towards the political process. In both cases public political activity increased noticeably after voting: in November 2011 in the form of protest demonstrations, and later in March 2012 in the form of protest and supportive demonstrations.