Only 1 in 3 Russians say they trust the news programmes on the state-controlled TV channels Pervyi Kanal and Rossiya 1, a recent survey by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) shows.
20 percent of Russians find that over the past few years, the quality of news broadcasts on Russian TV channels has deteriorated. This is a significant increase in the pessimistic outlook towards Russian television, as in 2015, only 7 percent of Russians believed the quality of news and informational broadcasts was turning for the worse.
According to the respondents, one of the main reasons for the deteriorating news quality was the lack of truthful, objective information and the abundance of propaganda and censorship.
The lack of trust in news on the state-controlled channels is hardly surprising: Out of 6,400 pro-examples of Kremlin disinformation collected since 2015, more than 850 come from Pervyi Kanal and Rossiya 1 (or from Rossiya 24 – Rossiya 1’s sister channel).
Seeing is believing?
It has been reported before that many Russians watch TV news even if they do not trust it.
The long-term polling data now shows that Russian TV has been slowly but steadily losing its audience. Although 85 percent of Russians confirm that they watch television, the number of people who do it every day dropped from 72 percent in 2015 to 52 percent in August 2019. The number of those who claim not to watch television programs at all has increased from 2 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in August 2019.
Nevertheless, just like in 2015, more than half of the respondents (52 percent) excluded the possibility to abandon watching TV in favor of other sources of information.