Many Russians perceive propaganda negatively but they recognize its importance in certain cases.
MOSCOW, November 22, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study describing Russian perceptions of propaganda.
‘Propaganda’ has negative connotations for Russians: 15% define it as ‘imposition of opinion’; 8% regard it as a lie; a further 10% have negative associations. However many word associations are neutral or hard to define: ‘agitation’ (7%), ‘making information available to the public’ (7%), ‘tool for political influence’ (7%), etc. Mentions of propaganda evoke distrust (35%) and dislike (24%). More than half of respondents (56%) say that propaganda itself harms society.
Being an unpleasant term the notion is perceived positively in the context of socially approved activities. So an overwhelming majority considers healthy lifestyles (96%), observation of road traffic rules (97%), charity (94%), world (93%) and domestic (92%) scientific achievements to be those things that need to be promoted. The major propaganda actors are the state (45%) and public organizations (35%).
The VCIOM-Sputnik Russian nationwide survey was conducted on November 16-17, 2017. The survey involved 1,200 Russians aged 18 and over, and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.
|Speaking about propaganda, what are the primary word associations to ‘propaganda’? (open-ended question, not more than three answers, %)|
|Imposition of certain opinions, ideas, beliefs||15|
|Terrorism, extremism, Russia’s dissolution||2|
|Embellishing the facts, information distortion||2|
|Drugs, alcohol, tobacco-smoking||2|
|Neutral and ambiguous associations|
|Dissemination; making information available to the public||7|
|A tool of political influence||7|
|Advertising, promotion of goods||4|
|Call for something||3|
|Winning to cause||2|
|Neutral; it depends on the goal||2|
|Activities of the oppositionist political forces||1|
|Influencing public opinion||1|
|This is the first time I hear about this word||2|
|Propaganda is the promotion of certain political, philosophical, scientific, artistic, etc., views in the society. What emotions does propaganda evoke in you? (closed-ended question, not more than two answers, %)|
|In your opinion, does propaganda bring more good or harm to society? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)|
|Total respondents||Aged 18-24||Aged 25-34||Aged 35-44||Aged 45-59||Aged 60 and over|
|In your opinion, which of the below-mentioned things should be/should not be propagandized (promoted)? (closed-ended question, one answer per each line, %)|
|Yes, it should||No, it should not||Don’t know|
|Observance of the road traffic rules||97||2||1|
|Helping people, charity||94||5||1|
|World scientific achievements||93||6||1|
|Russian scientific achievements||92||6||2|
|New art movements||85||10||5|
|New philosophical movements||79||13||8|
|President’s political views||76||20||4|
|Political views of certain persons||53||39||8|
|Religious views of non-orthodox denominations||41||52||7|
|Oppositionist political views||40||50||10|
|Hatred towards Russia’s enemies||21||73||6|
|Nationalistic views in favor of certain ethnicity||10||87||3|
|Who can conduct propaganda? (closed-ended question, any number of answers, %)|
Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!