Russian State Television Coverage of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 26, Number 3, Summer 2018
- pp. 287-319
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- Additional Information
This article examines Russian television news coverage of the 2016 US presidential election. The article has three main aims: to assess Russian media bias in covering presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; to illuminate the frames used to present the U.S. election to Russian audiences; and to further understanding of Russian government influence over domestic television news. It concludes that although Russian television reporting favored Trump over Clinton, the choice between them was not presented as black and white. The weakness and hypocrisy of U.S.-style democracy was a more pervasive feature of news reporting than efforts to frame either candidate. Rejecting claims of Russian election meddling was another key theme of coverage. The article also finds that Russian television news offers audiences more diversity than is often perceived outside Russia. Election reporting on the nightly news was mainly factual, while weekly roundup shows featured more opinionated analysis. Findings further suggest that commercial considerations, as well as government influence, shaped the framing of Russian television reporting on the US election.