Public agenda fragmentation beyond established democracies: the case of Russian online publics in 2017
New media introduce mechanics in the news consumption and deliberation of public agenda capable of disrupting the democratic process’s normative assumptions (echo chambers, filter bubbles). However, most research has been concerned with cases from Western Europe and the US. In this paper, we examine the fragmentation of the Russian public sphere online. We build on previous works with evidence on networked connections between segments of the online public sphere. We collected news items (N = 210,197) and metadata of 12 news outlets with offline and online reach posted on the largest Russian-language platform during one year (2017). Following a computational approach based on topic modeling and qualitative reading, we match the network segments with their news agendas. Although we do not find evidence of fragmentation, we find divergencies in their agendas. We discuss these findings and their contribution to the discussion of fragmentation of publics and agendas in the digital environment.