Res Publica Report August-September 2019


During months of August and September there were monitored five Lithuanian mainstream news websites 15min.lt, Delfi.lt, Lrytas.lt, Delfi.ru, Alfa.lt, and the fringe news website ekspertai.eu, which publishes topics predominately coinciding with the pro-Kremlin narratives. In total, websites published 12 894 articles, which generated 48371 comments.


Due to the changed structure of Delfi.lt and Alfa.lt websites, currently we are not able to crawl the comments of these websites.








The statistical trend of articles, comments and IPs remained the same (unchanged) during August and September: articles published in/by Delfi.lt received the most comments; however, as it was mentioned earlier the crawling of comments is not possible because of its website structural changes.

Lrytas.lt. website is the second in generating comments, although according to the number of articles, it is only in the third position.


15min.lt website, which is the second largest news website in Lithuania, leads by number of articles published in August. However, the website receives 6 times less comments than Lrytas.lt. This is due to the website’s policy of commentators’ registration. The policy ensures the quality of comments but also withholds many from commentating (commenters do not like to reveal their identity).


The monitoring of the most reacted (positive/negative) comments in August showed following tendency: the positive comments and positive reactions prevailed. There dominated reactions to the comments about the everyday life, such as, experience of leasing the second hand cars; charity and donation issues; teenagers and their participation in music festivals; celebrities’ divorces and the comments (regrets) that the Transport and Communication Minister was not to join the new Government; few comments (negative) about Russia’s pop stars.

Top 30 most commented articles in August, 2019


The top 30 list most commented articles consists only of Lrytas.lt articles (except one article in ekspertai.eu). It should be noted that this does not reflect the real situation due to the fact that some data currently is not available because of Delfi.lt and Alfa.lt websites’ structural changes.

Main topics that generated comments are following:

  1. WWII in Lithuania: juxtaposition of Red Armies and Nazis army behavior;

  2. Pulp fiction: local celebrities and other;

  3. Country’s security and defense;

  4. Visit of President of Lithuania Nauseda to Estonia;

  5. Home politics – the resign of Transport and Communications minister as a result of the new Government formation;

  6. Open letter of Mr Vytautas Landsbergis, the first head of state of Lithuania after its independence declaration from the Soviet Union, to the founder/CEO of Amazon.com with the request to remove from their sales garments (goods) with the USSR signs, symbols of communist’s tyranny.

  7. President Nauseda’s statement on the respect of international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

  8. Activities and initiatives of Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) members – a sign of preparing for the next year Parliamentary election.

Note. Titles of articles are quoted in Lithuanian




The most active commentators


The analysis of comments and IPs indicates that the most active commentators in August were of the fringe website ekspertai.eu. Most of comments were generated in Vilnius, Gargzdai, Kaunas, Siauliai, Alytus – Lithuanian cities and from Dublin (Ireland), Southampton (UK), Frankfurt (Germany), Stockholm (Sweden) and Moscow (Russia). All of them commented ekspertai.eu articles.

The available data shows that the absolute majority of comments and IPs are produced in Lithuania.

Due to the data protection and security requirements, and the sensitive information the data is not presented in detail.



The statistical trend of articles, comments and IPs remained the same (unchanged) in September:

15min.lt website published the biggest number of articles, however received 5 time less comments than Lrytas.lt website, and the latter is the third in the group by number of articles. Delfi.lt received the most comments and is the second according to the number of articles published; however, as it was mentioned earlier, the crawling of comments is not possible because of its website structural changes.

The available data shows that the absolute majority of comments and IPs are produced in Lithuania.

As in August, the September top 30 list of most commented articles consists only of Lrytas.lt articles (except one article in ekspertai.eu).


Main topics discussed in articles are following:

  1. Pulp fiction topics, such as: Lithuania’s first lady’s dress (negative comments); that one celebrity/politician expects a baby; whether shaving head bald is really a solidarity/support to those ill with cancer. The latter topic was provoked as few politicians shaved their heads bald as a sign of solidarity to the Lithuanian prime minister, who undergoes treatment from cancer.

  2. Acts of

  3. The US court granted the extradition of Ms Neringa Venskiene’s to Lithuania. The story/case of the former judge and former Member of Parliament is a complex one. The so called “Kedzio byla” case has been continuing for ten years and it will keep generating rather big resonance.

  4. Comments about one candidate, a former journalists, who did not succeeded to win a vacant MP’s seat in the Parliament.

  5. History narrative – Lithuanians’ collaboration with Nazis (the topic is furthered by the fringe website eu.)

  6. Commemoration of 70 years of People’s Republic of China.

  7. Home politics.

  8. Foreign politics, Lithuania’s President Nauseda visit to Germany, the EU, NATO.

It should be noted, that the topics of the Seimas (Parliament) Speaker’s withdrawal of his membership from the majority party, Lithuanian Farmers and Greens, as a result of long standing confrontation among him and his party leader, or the Parliamentary investigation of Russia’s influence to the politicians, namely, MP Rozova launched did not generate lot of comments.

The most commented articles in September

Note. Titles of articles are quoted in Lithuanian

More information upon the request.


The most active commentators

The tendency remains the same – the most active commentators in September were related to the fringe website ekspertai.eu. The most of comments were generated in Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas and Alytus, and also from Dublin (Ireland) and Moscow (Russia). Majority of comments (including comments from Dublin) were from the same Ip addresses.


Miscellaneous

There are 1223 218 real users of internet in Lithuania and their number grows. Delfi.lt is an absolute leader among news portals, with growing number of real users (584 502 users) and the increase in page views and visits. The second is the news website is 15min.lt (457 303 real users), followed by Lrytas.lt news website (381 240 real users). The number of real users, page views and visits of those three news websites fluctuates – sometimes increases, sometimes drops. Currently, we do not have sufficient data to to determine whether the growth of visits to the news websites is due to the news coverage or marketing campaigns.



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