Monitoring Report 2: Media Coverage of Topics of Public Interest

The second monitoring report, prepared by the Centre for Independent Journalism in the framework of the project ‘Strengthening the Capacity of Mass Media to Reflect Topics of Public Interest', shows that radio and TV stations as well as the written press of Moldova, UTA Gagauz Yeri and Transnistria made significant progress in compliance with ethical norms and principles, although serious problems still remain.
Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent, 28 March 2011, 17:06

The study, carried out during the period of December, 2010 - February, 2011 to assess the quality of reflection of public interest topics by 15 mass media institutions, shows that:

- Compared with the previous monitoring period, the level of involvement of radio and TV journalists increased considerably, but still some indicators need improvement.
- Editorial planning on TV and radio stations is done in a manner that ensures transparency, more or less, but not the uniformity in the reflection and presence of a theme during a specified time period. This shows that the editorial planning agenda is strongly influenced by the political agenda of authorities.
- Most of the monitored TV and radio stations followed the principle of impartiality, used proper language and avoided deviations from the journalist's code of ethics. There is still a TV station that has serious problems on this point.
- The number of sources - officials/politicians for the written press is on the decrease giving way to experts/specialists in different fields. At the same time, citizens are barely used as sources for information or as protagonists even when the themes under discussion concern them the most.
- The monitored newspapers do not offer sufficient space for the reflection of public interest subjects through information and analysis that would assist the readers in the creation of an informed opinion.
- The above mentioned press prefers news and information to serious analysis of the situation in different fields and thematic reports that could complete the „picture" of the problem.
- Most articles on the three monitored topics, published during the reference period, were written in a more or less proper language, acceptable under the literary language rules and the ethical standards. However, in five items published in Nezavisimaia Moldova, a deficient language or semi-libelous phrases were used, insulting the protagonists;
- The balance between the sources and opinions presented is not always ensured in the discussion of controversial issues.
- The number of materials from a single source is high - a fact that is not in compliance with the ethical norms.

The electronic version of the report can be found at the following address:

Romanian - http://www.ijc.md/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=566&Itemid=127
English - http://www.ijc.md/eng/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=155&Itemid=47
Russian - http://www.ijc.md/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=566&Itemid=127

The project „Strenghtening mass media's capacity to reflect issues of public interest" is financially supported by the European Union Delegation to Moldova through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.