Research Study: The Image of Russia in Armenia’s Online Media

Gegham Vardanyan

Physicist by education, journalist by occupation

In order to identify the image of modern Russia in Armenia’s social discourse, the Yerevan-based Region Research Center in October–November 2014 conducted research into eight local online news media: 7or.am, 1in.am, Aravot.am. iLur.am, Lragir.am, News.am, Panorama.am, and Yerkir.am. 

The research found that the majority of reports on Russia (61%) featured neutral coverage. However, assessments in the media were more negative than positive. In the aforementioned sites, there was negative treatment in 29% of descriptions of Russia, and only in 10% of cases was the disposition positive. 

Authors of the research “The Image of Russia in the Armenian Media” calculated an “aggression index” (the ratio of negative to neutral content) and a “goodwill index” (the ratio of positive to neutral content). In the eight news sites studied, the aggression index toward Russia was 0.48; the goodwill index, 0.15.

The Center conducted a similar research study in 2004–2005, and at the time, the aggression index was 0.32; the goodwill index, 0.24. Thus, in 10 years, the aggression index grew while the goodwill index dropped.

According to Region Research Center Director and head of the research study Laura Baghdasaryan, the changes are insignificant, and it cannot be said that there is a negative attitude toward Russia in Armenia’s media. 

The research findings show that Lragir.am (52%), Aravot.am (40%), and 1in.am (36%) had the highest number of negative descriptions of Russia in their reporting. However, Aravot.am was also in the lead in terms of positive descriptions (19%), followed by Panorama.am (14%) and 1in.am (13%).

Gegham Vardanyan

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