‘All the Necessary Information is Provided by Russia’s Channels’. Russian-language Radio and TV in Latvia: Audiences and Content

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Abstract

After the Maidan events in Kiev and the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, discussions in Latvia expanded regarding the extent to which the Russian-speaking population in Latvia, whose daily information is obtained mainly from Russia’s TV channels, can get well-balanced and objective information. Opinion polls showed that a large proportion (41%) of the non-Latvians supported the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s policy (SKDS 2014a). The aim of this article is to analyse the structure of the audiovisual media in the Russian language and media usage habits of the Russian-speaking audience using secondary and primary data. And thereby assess whether diversified information is available in the Russian language to this societal group. The research results show that the Russian-speaking population in Latvia does not feel a need for additional information channels, because they believe that the variety of information obtained from Russia’s TV and radio channels is sufficient.

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