Nearly 80 percent of Russian Internet-based news outlets copied and pasted complete articles from other sources from September 2008 until January 2009, Lenta.ru reported. Furthermore, research by web portal Yandex showed that only 8 percent of news articles contained links to the original content.
Almost a quarter of all news was about the economy and over 20 percent of articles contained the word "crisis." However, by January news about the gas problem between Ukraine and Russia received the most coverage. Science, medicine, tourism and the Web were issues that were least reported on, Yandex found.
Lenta.ru editor-in-chief Galina Timchenko said that she has no reason "not to believe the statistics," pointing out that her site frequently publishes articles without links to the original but that Lenta.ru does not necessarily suffer because of that.
Natalia Moiseenkova, creator of RB.ru, said that 20 percent may be an exaggerated figure for the amount of original news content online. She mentioned that there are only some "tens" of online outlets that create their own material.
The average word count per news article was 210, consisting of 13-14 sentences. Russian newssites published, on average, 16 news stories per day on weekdays and 4 on weekends.