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Political Partisanship and Information From One Single Source Are Still a Challenge for the Channels Monitored by IJC

17 October 2019
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The Independent Journalism Centre (IJC) released on Thursday, 17 October, the third monitoring report, which examines the behavior of broadcasters during 5-11 October. According to the report, as the election campaign went on, an increase in the number of TV channels that favored or disadvantaged certain candidates was noticed.

The IJC Executive Director Nadine Gogu, said that a common problem of most TV channels monitored is that a large part of the election topics were reported by using only one source of information and did not address the topics in depth.

Although the national audiovisual media service provider Moldova 1 did not favor or disadvantage any candidate present on set, it did not ensure the pluralism of opinion as it provided airtime only to about a half of the candidates.

The TV channels Prime TV and Publika TV, in their turn, covered most of the electoral candidates in a neutral way, except for the candidate of the ACUM bloc, Andrian Nastase, whom they covered in a negative light. In this context, Nadine Gogu, offered as an example the material broadcast by Prime TV about the injury of a player during a football game, organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which mentioned several times that the cup was attended by ‘the resigned minister’ Andrei Nastase. In another piece of news, they even included the reply of Nastase, who said the incident was insignificant. ‘A minor incident: this is how the resigned Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrei Nastase, described the serious injury...’, cited Nadine Gogu from the piece of news.

The broadcaster Jurnal TV ensured the pluralism of opinions, but Andrei Nastase benefited from a relatively larger number of appearances.

According to the report, the TV channels NTV Moldova and Accent TV continued to promote the PSRM candidates, especially Ion Ceban, and favored him by offering him a lot of airtime and by covering him in a good context with different sources, including with citizens. ‘Note that, for example, in relation to Ion Ceban on NTV Moldova, affirmative, strong titles were used each time. For example: I will redevelop the spaces, we will provide the suburbs with gas network, we will provide solutions for the housing problem and so on. In case of other candidates, the tone is more neutral: he proposes, he wants to do this. It is very subtle, but there is a difference and we, as viewers, cannot always tell when we watch such news and in fact, certain messages are transmitted to us’.

Also, a biased attitude of these TV channels was noted in relation to the candidate of ‘Partidul Nostru’ for the position of the mayor of Balti town, Renato Usatii.

The TV channel RTR Moldova distinguished itself through the fact that it favored Ion Ceban, by broadcasting a relatively high number of materials that reflect his activity.

PRO TV and TV 8 did not favor or disfavor any election candidate. However, Nadine Gogu noted that the TV8 channel uses sometimes, an ironic style. For example, it was written that the support of a certain party ‘has grown like yeast’. Nadine Gogu recommends the TV channels to avoid using such style in order not to be accused of impartiality.

The Central Television clearly favored the representatives of the Sor Party, and disadvantaged Andrei Nastase.
A total of 10 broadcasters were monitored. Moldova 1, Prime TV, Publika TV, Jurnal TV, RTR Moldova, NTV Moldova, Accent TV, PRO TV, TV8 and Central Television.

In its first two reports, IJC highlighted that the TV channels NTV Moldova, Accent TV and the Central Television favored or disadvantaged certain candidates and notified the Broadcasting Council about that.