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Сообщения СМИ и результаты кандидатов на выборах президента РФ 2018: Для кого всего важнее региональные новости?

Казун А. Д., Дорофеева О. Е.

This paper is concerned with media coverage of candidates in the 2018 Russian presidential election, with the emphasis on regional printed media. Following theory of agenda-setting, we analyze the number of articles about presidential candidates in the federal and regional press and on major TV channels that demonstrate that presidential candidates were getting unequal coverage in the media. The tone and focus of the discussion about candidates in regional print media is also considered. Vladimir Putin was getting more attention from the media, probably due to his position as the current president in that period. Other candidates got less coverage, more differentiated by the press than by television, in the way that previously known (by their political or other public activity) candidates were getting more attention than those who  not yet well-known to Russians. This way new and less popular candidates did not have an opportunity to obtain agenda ownership and were overshadowed by their more well-known competitors. The disparity in media coverage is also issued by the fact that most candidates did not have their own agenda and do not play a leading role in the news which they are mentioned in. At the same time, the number of publications about candidates in the regional press is not connected to the result of the elections for candidates who are well familiar to Russians, who at that time held public posts (V.Putin, V. Zhirinovsky) or speakers in another public function (K.Sobchak) nor for candidates-outsiders. The exception is P. Grudinin and G. Yavlinsky, the number of publications about whom is positively associated with their results. Perhaps, for opposition candidates, including new players in the political arena, access to the regional press can become a significant factor affecting the election results.