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IJC Report: Four of the ten television stations monitored during the September 14-28 electoral period favored President Igor Dodon

02 October 2020
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President Igor Dodon, electoral candidate in the 2020 presidential elections, benefited from massive coverage on four out of the ten television stations monitored between September 14 and 28, 2020, being presented most of the time in a positive context. On the other hand, three of these four stations broadcast a large number of materials on the activities of PAS party and its leader Maia Sandu, mostly with a negative connotation. These conclusions appear in the first monitoring report released by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) in the electoral period and the electoral campaign for the upcoming presidential elections of November 1, 2020.

According to the report, the Moldova 1 public station presented the candidates in the electoral race neutrally, and the only candidate who benefited from a positive tone was Igor Dodon. He was favored both by the large amount of news about his work as president and by the positive tone of several materials, including those on the work of the Government, through image transfer.

The private television stations Primul în Moldova, NTV-Moldova, and Accent TV had the most materials that promoted the government, mainly covering the topics with the participation of various exponents of the power. The first among the registered electoral competitors who benefited from massive coverage on these stations was Igor Dodon, who had the most direct appearances and interventions, mainly in a positive context. At the same time, these stations had a large number of materials on the activities of PAS and Maia Sandu, mostly with a negative connotation.

Televiziunea Centrală presented mainly in a positive light the representatives of the Shor Party and, implicitly, the party’s nominee in the elections, Violeta Ivanov, while the other candidates and parties were presented mainly in a neutral manner.

Prime TV and Publika TV presented the electoral candidates relatively neutrally, and the public authorities also appeared in a mainly neutral tone, but also positive in some cases. The parties were presented in a neutral manner, except for Shor Party, which benefited from a large number of positive materials on Prime TV.

Jurnal TV, Pro TV, and TV8 had a relatively balanced behavior, without showing obvious tendencies of presenting public authorities, electoral competitors, and political parties in a positive light, and only a small part of these actors appeared in a negative light.

By monitoring media outlets, the IJC aims to inform the public about the behavior of the media during the electoral campaign and the access of electoral competitors to the media, but also to notify regulators about trends that could affect media performance or compromise their ability to provide the public with truthful, unbiased, and pluralistic information.

The IJC recommends the Broadcasting Council to use monitoring reports in order to take note of the facts and to assess whether the monitored stations have complied with the right to full, objective, and truthful information.

A total of ten broadcasters were monitored: Moldova 1, Prime TV, Publika TV, Jurnal TV, NTV Moldova, Primul în Moldova, Accent TV, Pro TV, TV8, and Televiziunea Centrală. The stations were selected according to the following criteria: audience/impact (national, regional), type of media (broadcasting), form of ownership (public, private), language of broadcasting (Romanian, Russian).

This report is part of the USAID and UK aid funded project “Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova” (MEDIA-M) and implemented by Internews in Moldova, which aims to promote the development of an independent, professional media, and to create a media sector that is more resilient to political and financial pressures. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK aid, USAID or the United States Government.

Sursa foto: IPN