Journalists on Journalism

Lithuanians Choose Electronic Media

This article appeared in the December 2001 World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 12)

According to national surveys, the majority of Lithuanians are getting information from radio and TV. It is not surprising that they choose free information sources. Print newspapers are not always affordable, and online publications are not always accessible in a country where unemployment has reached 13 percent.

Lithuanian national radio dominates in the radio market. About 33 percent of Lithuanians prefer this radio station to the others. A total of 23 percent of the population of the capital city Vilnius and 42 percent of people living in rural areas get news from it. According to the media research company Gallup Media, about 70 percent of people aged 50 to 74 and only 4 percent of young people aged 20 to 29 prefer this radio station to the others.

Young people prefer television. Over 80 percent of the TV audience committed to the three biggest commercial channels are people aged 20 to 29. This market segment is shared in the following way: Polish-owned channel BTV owns a market stake of about 18 percent and Swedish-owned channels LNK and TV3, about 34 and 29 percent respectively. National TV is watched by about 9 percent of the entire Lithuanian television audience and only by about 4 percent of younger people.

Daily newspapers are popular among the working population, especially in big cities. About 47 percent of the readers of the biggest daily Lietuvos rytas and about 17 percent of those of the second-largest daily Respublika read it at work.

According to the National Readership Survey conducted by Gallup Media, about 25 percent of readers prefer Lietuvos rytas to the others. Eight percent of Lithuanian readers read the regional daily Kauno Diena, which is Swedish-owned and published in the second-largest city, Kaunas.