Growing Pains: Russian Democracy and the Election of 1993

By Timothy J. Colton; Jerry F. Hough | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER EIGHT
The Press and the Campaign Comprehensive but Fragmented Coverage

Joel M. Ostrow

THE RUSSIAN national print media provided uncensored, wide-ranging, and lively coverage of the 1993 parliamentary election campaign. Taken together, the eight national newspapers surveyed for this study--Izvestiya, Komsomol'skaya pravda, Trud, Krasnaya zvezda, Pravda, Nezavisimaya gazeta, Segodnya, and Argumenty i fakty--offered comprehensive coverage and represented a wide range of political views. Pravda, as expected, strongly supported the Communist party and other centrist and antireform opposition groups. Krasnaya zvezda had no clear favorite. The other six papers divided their support among three proreform blocs--Russia's Choice, Party of Russian Unity and Accord (PRES), and Yabloko.

In this chapter I attempt to answer one question: did these newspapers provide the voter with the information necessary to make an informed choice on election day? Collectively, they provided an abundance of news and analysis of the major electoral blocs 1 and their campaign platforms to enable the electorate to make an informed decision. But the key word is "collectively." 2 Coverage by particular newspapers was fragmented. With

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I would like to thank the Berkeley-Stanford Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies for permission to participate in this project while in Moscow on a dissertation research fellowship; Andrei Sayenko for research assistance; Irina A. Andreyevna and the Parliamentary Library of the Federal Assembly for their kind and attentive assistance; and Brian Taylor and Valerie Sperling for insightful comments on earlier drafts of this chapter.

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