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25 June 2017
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Interviews

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.

Last week illustrated
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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.3

Nezavisimaia Moldova, 19 May 2011
Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent, 9 June 2011, 13:14

Discussions on TV: Dodon wishes to conduct administrative activities while Chirtoacă is concerned with political posturing (http://www.nm.md/daily/article/2011/05/19/0103.html)

On 19 May, the newspaper Nezavisimaia Moldova published a report about the electoral debates that took place on 17 May on Publika TV between Igor Dodon, the PCRM candidate for mayor, and Dorin Chirtoacă, the LP candidate for the same office. The intention, a good one at first sight, of conveying to voters the most important segments from the program in fact turned into a model of biased selection of information and manipulation of public opinion.

Judging by the content of the story, the PCRM candidate was the most active in the debates as approximately 90 percent of the quotations from the program belong to Igor Dodon. He is quoted precisely each time while Chirtoacă's responses are missing. The few paragraphs in the newspaper contain the entire electoral program of the Communist candidate for the capital's office of mayor.

"Chişinău residents expect from us constructive discussions and not a political war; they expect solutions to real problems and not ideological confrontations," Igor Dodon said and added, "Unfortunately, there has been too much politicking in the management of the capital's mayor's office, much more than resolving real problems." The Communist candidate offers more answers and suggestions for overcoming any eventual misunderstandings with the ruling coalition if he should become mayor. "Reality proves that in the past months many AIE members have admitted they have supported the Alliance because they needed positions. I do not expect the Alliance's configuration to change, but I do expect constructive support if I don't get involved in politics. I will find common ground with Prime Minister Filat and with other persons."

Dorin Chirtoacă is quoted only at the end of the article. He offers a response to the final statement of
his opponent and is introduced with the help of an assessment by the author. "Dorin Chirtoacă was obviously dissatisfied (s.n.) when Igor Dodon alluded to possible changes on the political arena."

Finally, the author remembers that, "According to publika.md, 14 candidates are fighting for the office of the capital's mayor." It is not clear if this is a reference strictly to this information or to the entire news item. In reality, this information was not on the website of the TV station where the two candidates met, so it would appear that newspaper made a reference to a source that does not exist.

The manner in which the information for the article was selected and the title was written prove the newspaper's lack of objectivity and impartiality. Although at first sight the article respects the principle of diversity of opinions by quoting both sides, the significant discrepancy between the amount of space offered to Igor Dodon and that reserved for Dorin Chirtoacă shows that a balance between the two sides was not observed. These two observations plus the author's opinion about the behavior of the candidates during the TV debates (it was a news item, not a commentary) denotes a tendentious attitude in favor of the PCRM candidate for mayor of Chisinau.

 



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