The struggle of Putin and Navalny for a media agenda

Publication type Article
Status Published
Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)
Higher School of Economics (HSE) Department of Economic Sociology
Address: Russian Federation
Affiliation: National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameObshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost
EditionIssue 5

The research analyses the construction of network links of Vladimir Putin and Alexei Navalny with various issues of Russian public discussion in the national print media. The theoretical framework is the issue ownership theory, according to which political actors have a range of issues that are most strongly associated with them. Ownership by the politician of topics that are perceived in society as important determines his popularity among the population. In this study, we use Integrum database, which contains extensive print media archives: about 500 Russian magazines and more than 250 national newspapers. We analyze the period from 12.12.2016 to 12.12.2017, i.е. one year after Alexey Navalny's announcement of his intention to participate in the presidential election in 2018. The analysis shows that Putin has more opportunities to form an agenda, since he attracts much more attention of national media than Navalny. Putin is often mentioned in connection with economic issues and international relations, which attract the attention of the population and are perceived as important, while his activity in these spheres is perceived as successful. Navalny is associated with issues of corruption, NGOs and civic activism. Corruption is one of the important topics for Russians, but low attention of the media to Navalny does not allow him to get the maximum benefit from owning this story.

Keywordsmass media, network agenda-setting, issue ownership, image of politicians, electoral behavior, public opinion, Putin, Navalny, elections 2018
Publication date14.10.2018
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