Source: Russia Today (First Half of 2019)


Russian analysts selected the top 10 media outlets in each country by their popularity, including newspaper circulation and online visiting statistics, but they did not consider news agencies. The review included media sources that express a certain point of view and not just transmit neutral information. For each country, they reviewed all materials that included the word “Russia” or were related to Russia by topic in one way or another. They were more than 80,000 of such materials in the first six months of 2019. The whole scope of materials was divided into three categories according to tonality: negative, neutral and positive ones.

1. United Kingdom: In the first half of 2019, the UK was the leader in number of materials about Russia, there were about 25,000 articles. The British press published as many articles about Russia as about China and Germany. 60% of materials about Russia were neutral, 40% of all publications about Russia had a negative connotation and only 1% of materials were positive. In other words, the negative publication on Russia in the British media was 40 times more than positive ones. Positive messages mainly related to sports, culture and tourism. The Times is the most anti-Russian media outlet (by percentage of anti-Russian materials in relation to all publications). Top 5 negative topics about Russia were in order of increasing importance the case of poisoning of Skripals, Russia in the context of the Venezuela crisis, the buildup of Russia’s military power and demonstration of power, interference in the American elections, Russia in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.

Number of articles /materials

  1. Financial Times: 1047
  2. The Daily Mail: 957
  3. Express: 619
  4. BBC: 522
  5. The Independent: 451
  6. The Times: 450
  7. The Daily Telegraph: 422
  8. The Guardian: 391
  9. The Sun: 220
  10. The Daily Mirror: 175

2. Germany: Germany was the second in number of materials published about Russia, there were about 15,000 publications. In Germany, just like in the UK, anti-Russian slogans were often made by the business press, namely Frankfurter Allgemeine, Handelsblatt etc. However, the most anti-Russian positions were held by Die Welt and Bild. The German media contained less than 1% of positive materials about Russia. They related mainly to the beauties of Siberia, tourism etc. 50.6% of the materials were negative, 48.5 % neutral. Among the most popular topics was Russia’s interference in political processes in the West, the situation around Nord Stream 2, relations between Russia and NATO, and increased hostility of the Russian Federation, as well as protests in Moscow. The most popular topic was international crises (Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela) which Russia is involved in.

Number of articles/materials

  1. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: 464
  2. Handelsblatt: 331
  3. Der Spiegel: 281
  4. Süddeutsche Zeitung: 272
  5. Die Welt: 224
  6. Bild: 157
  7. Die Zeit 133
  8. Der Tagesspiegel: 124
  9. Deutschland Funk 63
  10. ARD 63

3. France: France is the leader in the number of neutral publications about Russia. About 70% of materials about Russia were neutral, 26% were negative materials and 4.7% were positive ones. The positive topics mainly included tourism, culture and art that reflect a more balanced and deep interest of the French in Russia. There is also a number of observers in France (e.g. Le Figaro) that are more or less neutral towards Russia. But most publications when it comes to politics still speak of Russia in a negative way. In general, the French media writes little about Russia, only 8,300 publications. Main topics were the INF Treaty, the Nord Stream 2, protests in Russia, interference in the elections and, finally, the situation around Ukraine.

Number of articles/materials

  1. Liberation: 533
  2. Le Monde: 331
  3. Le Figaro: 312
  4. L’Express: 248
  5. Les Echos: 231
  6. Ouest France: 160
  7. L’Obs: 158
  8. 20 Minutes: 101
  9. Le Point: 92
  10. BFMTV: 82

4. Italy: Italy published the most positive materials about Russia. More than 6,000 materials were devoted to Russia during the period of six months. 63% were neutral, 23.9 % were negative and 13% were positive ones. The top 5 topics in Italy were the following: Russia’s ties with Italian parties, development of the situation around the INF Treaty, interference in American elections, negative ties between Russia and Italy (crime) and the crisis in Ukraine


Positive Tone

  1. Italy: 13%
  2. France: 4.7%
  3. Germany: 1%
  4. UK: 1%

Neutral Tone

  1. France: 70%
  2. Italy: 63%
  3. UK: 60%
  4. Germany: 48.5%

Negative Tone

  1. Germany: 50.6%
  2. UK: 40%
  3. France: 26%
  4. Italy: 23.9%

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