As it turned out, Russians prefer to read the press published in the regions, not that issued in the capital. This is seen from an analysis made by the RF Ministry of Press and recently published. I have no exact information at hand concerning the amount of audience of central and local online editions, such like the PRAVDA.Ru online newspaper. But as for printed newspapers, the advantage of the local press over the central one is obvious. As for online editions, the number of their visitors can be seen from special electronic systems counting the number of visitors. But it is sometimes a problem to find out the number of readers of printed editions. Can anyone say for sure why people buy newspapers, to read or to wrap anything? It is perfectly clear that editions publishing much advertising say their circulation is bigger as compared with other printed editions. But this is not the reason to place such advertising newspapers together with the press publishing articles and opinions, they are certainly editions of a particular class.
The RF Ministry of Press reports, the share of all-Russian newspapers among editions that recently appeared makes up 14.7%, and the share of regional, republican, local newspapers is over 80%. It’s interesting to mention that ten years ago the central press had complete domination in the country. There are over 3.500 regional and city newspapers in Russia. The total one-time circulation makes up about 32 million copies. At that, there are about 7.000 of regional, district and republican editions with the one-time circulation of about 30 million copies. At the same time, the one-time circulation of all printed mass media published in Moscow makes up about 36 million. Deputy Minister of Press, Vladimir Grigoryev says, the above mentioned figures demonstrate that regional press is now an accomplished, influential and serious information power. 20 new mass media are registered in Russia every day. As of now, there are 6715 electronic, 38060 printed and 933 online periodicals officially registered in Russia. 7477 new mass media were registered by the Ministry of Press and its territorial departments in 2002. The number of newspapers distributed in Russia every day makes up 21.5 million copies. But regional and city newspapers registered in the federal register have won majority of readers. The sum appropriated from the federal budget on financing of these newspapers in 2002 made up 167 million 156 thousand rubles. Almost 20 million rubles out of the sum appropriated for support of Russia’s regional newspapers were spent on development of their editorial offices’ material and technical basis. As the Ministry of Press reports, subsidies to regional editions in 82 regions of Russia made up 77.586 rubles.