The loyal editor effect: Russian online journalism after independence
This article investigates what effect pressure from owners - via loyal editors, had on journalistic output at the popular Russian online newspapers Lenta and Gazeta. Using novel methods to analyse a dataset of nearly 1 million texts from the period 2010-2015, this article separates the effect of a changing news agenda from new editorial priorities. Statistical tests show that changes in output coincide temporally with editorial change, and that the direction of change sees new editors move away from publication patterns associated with other independent outlets. In both Gazeta and Lenta, editorial changes were accompanied by a move away from core news areas such as domestic and international politics, towards lifestyle and human interest subjects. The loyal editor effect resulted in a 50% reduction in coverage of controversial legal proceedings, together with the business dealings of Russian elites.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via https://doi.org/10.1080/1060586X.2016.1200797