IJC takes pulse of broadcasters with widest coverage areas

Radio and TV stations enjoying national coverage have shown a series of deviations from professional and ethical principles, failing to cover the elections in a fair and equidistant manner.
Info-Prim Neo, 2 July 2009, 18:41

2009-07-02/14:27/ Chisinau (IPN) This conclusion was evinced on Thursday, July 2, by a team of observers monitoring Moldova 1, Radio Moldova, NIT, Prime TV and EU TV, as they compiled their first weekly report (June 22-28), Info-Prim Neo reports.

Interim manager of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) Nadine Gogu has said “the public stations Moldova 1 and Radio Moldova observe, selectively, the principles of fair, balanced and impartial coverage.” “Most of the election-related stories are not impartial, covering the events more from the perspective of the government and of the Communists Party (PCRM),” the observer said.

Referring to the performance of the private television NIT, Nadine Gogu has stated “NIT is conspicuous through its inclinatio n to ignore some events and to highlight others, by rerunning the reports, and by selecting only the pieces of information putting the government in a positive light, and the political opposition – in a bad light.”

Executive manager of the Independent Press Association (IPA) Petru Macovei has said about Prime TV that “it does not offer the public enough information about the elections.” “By its decision not to get involved in covering the electoral race, this station with national coverage deprives its viewers from information, restricting their access to an event of such grandeur as the election is,” the expert said.

“EU TV covers, relatively impartially, the events linked to the race and electoral contestants. The large number of stories favoring certain electoral contestants and disfavoring others tell of a certain inclination of partiality on behalf of this station towards the actions of the Government, of t he the Communists Party and of the Christian Democratic People's Party (PPCD),” said IPA's director.

The IJC compiles these reports with the association of NGOs called “Coalition 2009”, in which other media monitors also participate with their projects. Those reports are, as a rule, criticized by the administration of the public company “Teleradio-Moldova”, which issues data displaying that this broadcaster would be granting more time to the opposition, than to the ruling party.

Petru Macovei considers as faulty the verification method of Teleradio-Moldova, which, he says, “counts the appearances of the PCRM, on the one hand, and the appearances of all he other parties, on the other.”

“The balance is there, only it's a mater of positive or negative contexts,” said Nadine Gogu, referring to the quality of the presentations made to the PCRM and Government, on the one hand, and to the other pol iticians, on the other.
The territorial coverage is the key-criterion in selecting the broadcasters monitored by the IJC. Another reason was that namely these stations display more reluctance towards the legal provisions and the professional norms in ensuring political pluralism, according to previous monitoring reports compiled under Coalitions – 2009's aegis.