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Mediacritica

The Moldovan Journalist Code of Ethics requires the reporter to “respect people’s privacy and ask for permission to record photo/video, except if they are in a public place.” There are cases, however, when reporters seem to forget about the need to respect privacy, providing in their stories details and images that, in fact, are not information of public interest, but are inserted in order to attract as many readers as possible.
 
Hereinafter, we will present several such examples:
 

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This case study has been produced on the basis of a news article published by ziarulnational.md and republished by voceabasarabiei.net.
Title 1: “Local elections might be POSTPONED until after 25 October. Filat: We lose USD 110 MILLION annually”
Author: ziarulnational.md (http://ziarulnational.md/alegerile-locale-ar-putea-fi-amanate-si-dupa-25-octombrie-filat-suportam-pierderi-de-110-milioane-de-dolari-anual/)

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A recent media event at the Chisinau International Airport, apparently intended to prove that the Russian company that obtained, a year ago, a half a century concession on the only international airport in Moldova is decided to fulfill its investment commitments, involuntarily turned into a test of resistance for Moldovan media outlets, which are more and more often believed to be divided among the governing political forces that have some political control over the media content. This case study will show how, in the attitude to this topic (ignoring it or covering it in an unbalanced  manner, while omitting some elements indispensable for correct information), media outlets proved their lack of editorial independence and dependence from the owners that the legislation has been unable to pull out of shadow for quite a long time.
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In the race for views, more and more media outlets use sensational headlines, which have nothing in common with the news themselves. These headlines often contain such adjectives as “sensational”, “impressive”, “amazing”, or “alarming”. In the absence of such adjectives, headlines contain a harsh statement, which has nothing in common with the information in the article, either. A media outlet may happen to actually obtain some sensational information, but when it happens on a daily basis, it becomes discomforting for readers.
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According to the latest Barometer of Public Opinion (BPO) in Moldova, presented in April 2014, the Internet is second in the rating of sources of information after television. The virtual space is daily accessed by 42% of respondents, which is 4% more than according to the BPO in November 2013. It shows that the Internet has been gaining ground over traditional mass media in Moldova. For 20% of respondents the Internet is the most important source of information. For this reason, materials posted online are subject to the same rules of journalism, ethics and deontology.
 
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The accuracy of a piece of information often depends not only on the balance of sources, objectivity and impartiality. Omission, deliberate or out of ignorance, and failure to substantiate or provide the context that is absolutely necessary to understand some information, process or fact can sometimes damage the accuracy of a journalistic product more than any other mistake. This case study will show how, in the absence of the context, a news item or an article can lead to manipulation of public opinion or even to promotion of a person or group that are actually expecting that.

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