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30 April 2017
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Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises

Ion PREAŞCĂ

20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

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Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

Monitoring Mass Media during the Campaign for Local General Elections of 5 June 2011: Case study No. 1

NIT, Curier, 18 April, 20:00 Author: Sergiu Strungaru
Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent, 18 May 2011, 12:34

The station with national coverage NIT includes in its newscast of 18 April an item that tackles the issue of "electoral presents." The news item, with the duration of 3.35 minutes, is obviously biased, offers information from one perspective, is full of commentaries made by the reporter, contains caricatures, images from the archive, for denigration purposes.

"Municipal elections have turned the capital's mayor's office into a real wonder field. On the eve of elections, Dorin Chirtoacă presents cards to police officers, distributes bags with food to pensioners and donates hundreds of thousands of lei to the young people who participated in the violent protests of 7 April. And this after 4 years that one could hear just one message from the mayor's office "we are poor and do not have money," announces the anchor from the studio while a caricature appears on the screen representing Dorin Chirtoacă in the role of anchor of the well-known program on a Russian TV station (Pole chudes - Wonder field).

From the very beginning, an informed viewer can notice the non-separation of facts from opinions, the anchor presenting to the public her own opinions or the opinions of the authors, which contravenes the Journalist Code of Ethics. Further on, the reporter says: "On the eve of elections, Dorin Chirtoacă squeezes as much as he can the capital's budget to distribute presents. Today Dorin Chirtoacă promised to the politicians to buy new clothes for them but also cars of 2 mlln lei."

After a short insert with Dorin Chirtoacă, the reporter puts herself in the role of expert and comments: "twenty cars in police stations and that is it. No salary rises, no bonuses, no social aids for the officers. The reason is the same as has been for four years - there is no money. But when it comes to the vandals of 7 April, a wonder happens in the mayor's office. Chirtoacă finds the necessary funds to distribute to the pogromists 10 thousand lei each.

A new insert with Chirtoacă is followed by photographs and images of 7 April 2009 that show the mayor of Chişinău among the protesters, thus bringing again the violent protests into the audience's attention. These images and formulas (pogromists, vandals) are used to indirectly promote the message that the PL leader is one of the organizers of the actions of those times.

"Rewards for devastation and participation in violence. And those who built the city and brought it up after the second world war received 100 lei each today," the reporter continues her own commentary, deviating from the journalistic requirements that clearly stipulate that news cannot contain the reporters' commentaries. The journalist equates the terms pogromists and vandals with the term victims, perpetuating her personal opinion that the persons who benefited from indemnities as victims were the ones who directly participated in destroying the Parliament and President Office Buildings.

The second part of the item refers to the allocations for pensioners (100 lei) offered by the mayor's office on the occasion of Easter. The text is written in the same key, as a comment:
"Dorin Chirtoacă, master in show actions, foresaw the pensioners' discontent and showed what one can buy with 100 lei. A scenario started here that was like torn from the famous program "Wonder Field," the author says after announcing on a serious tone - Present to the studio, followed by the same expression, in Russian, uttered by the anchor of Pole chudes (Leonid Iacubovici) that is followed by images unrolling fast in which Chirtoacă collects various food products on his desk, in the musical background of that program.

The opinions of the discontented pensioners are also included in the item.

"Only Chirtoacă knows how many more Chisinau residents will benefit from such presents until the elections. Based on what has happened so far, it could be seen that only the vandals of 7 April had to gain. This has been a real wonder. Who would offer you today 10 thousand lei for the participation of the violence of 7 April?" concludes the reporter in an item that, in fact, is rather a commentary.

Such an approach violates the provisions of the Broadcast Code that state that the sense of reality cannot be distorted through editing tricks, commentaries, manner of formulation or headlines (Art.7).

 



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