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A nation must think before it acts.
January 2, 2020
Post by Rachel Chernaskey
In FIE 2020’s first two analyses, we examined which candidates received the most coverage from Russian state-sponsored media and the manner in which those candidates were discussed. President Donald Trump garnered the overwhelming majority of mentions, given his position as head of state and 2020 presidential candidate. In the Democratic field, Vice President Joe Biden saw the highest percent of negative mentions, Senator Bernie Sanders received generally neutral coverage and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard saw the highest percent of positive mentions.
As the election cycle progressed through November and December 2019, Russian media mentions of the 2020 candidates have evolved. Since our prior two assessments in November 2019, we have surveyed an additional 685 articles (194 RT stories and 491 Sputnik News stories) offering insights into shifting narratives in the outlets’ coverage of Election 2020. There was no significant change in tenor by which RT and Sputnik News discussed the candidates, save for the addition of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Generally, positive and negative mentions of candidates since our first assessment shifted by only a percent or two (see Figure 6 and Figure 7). However, some candidates saw a significant surge in the volume of mentions they received (see Figure 8).
To date, the team has analyzed 2,572 stories and 4,591 mentions published by RT and Sputnik. Here are some of the highlights since our previous analyses of Russian state-sponsored media on November 10 and November 25: