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IJC Report: Moldova 1’s coverage of opposition parties and politicians was neutral, while President Igor Dodon was favored

17 September 2020
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Between 31 August and 6 September 2020, Moldova 1 mostly presented information in its main daily news bulletin, Mesager, in a neutral way. Still, the journalists have diverged from professional ethics in several ways, especially by failing to remain equidistant and presenting president Igor Dodon in a positive light, states a new public TV channel monitoring report published Thursday, 17 September, by the Independent Journalism Center.

The research reveals that central authorities (the President, the Government, the Parliament) continue to feature in most of Moldova 1’s news. Still, compared to the previous monitoring period (9 – 15 March 2020), the rate of their direct or indirect quoting has reduced. On the other hand, there were more news quoting, whether directly or indirectly, representatives of local public authorities, especially Chisinau authorities.

Also, September has seen a greater diversity of news subjects compared to March. Nevertheless, President Dodon was still the person quoted (directly or indirectly) or mentioned most often (16 news editions), featuring in one out of every nine stories. “The head of state was favored by the public TV channel which resorted to manipulation techniques, such as suggestion, or creation of an image of national savior/messiah. Some pieces were close to being political advertising and election PR. There were also a number of violations, including failure to offer the right to reply or failure to mention the source of footage used”, noted Victor Gotișan, media researcher, author of the report.

On the other hand, Moldova 1’s coverage of opposition parties and politicians was neutral and equidistant.

The author of the report suggests that the Broadcasting Council should turn its attention to this situation and monitor Moldova 1 to identify the main ethical and legal violations and penalize accordingly, as the case may be. He also suggests that Teleradio-Moldova’s Supervisory Board should analyze the contents broadcast by Moldova 1 and develop appropriate recommendations.

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The publication of this report has been possible due to the generous help of the American and British people through USAID and UK Aid. The content of this material is the responsibility of the Independent Journalism Center, and it might not reflect the vision of UK Aid, USAID, or the United States Government.