Final Report: Monitoring Mass Media during the Campaign for Local General Elections of 5 June 2011

The Centre for Independent Journalism presented the Final Report on Monitoring Mass Media during the Campaign for Local General Elections of 5 June 2011.
Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent, 27 June 2011, 12:12

Based on the monitoring results, it can be concluded that during the electoral campaign the monitored media covered the electoral campaign differently, some of them making grave deviations from professional and deontological principles. Thus,

• Prime TV, a private station with national coverage, observed professional and ethical standards in covering subjects with electoral character. The large amount of news items with the presence of PDM and PL candidates denotes the station's favoring of these two parties' candidates for the positions of mayors and local councilors.

• NIT, another private station with national coverage, openly campaigned for the PCRM, serving as an instrument for the promotion of this party's ideology. The vast majority of news items with electoral relevance were biased and sometimes denigrating, covering events only from the perspective of the PCRM. The large volume and the content of news items shows that from an editorial point of view NIT is a politically partisan TV station, which is contrary to professional deontology and legal provisions.

• Two other TV stations, Euro TV and Jurnal TV, had a relatively balanced performance, without grave deviations from professional and deontological standards. From the point of view of the frequency and the context in which electoral competitors appeared in newscasts, both stations displayed a slight favoring of the PL candidate for the position of Chisinau mayor.

• The TV station N4 generally observed the deontological and professional standards of covering electoral campaigns. N4 slightly favored the PLDM through the high frequency of image news items broadcast with the presence of this party's leader, who also is the country's Prime Minister.

• The newspaper Adevărul covered the campaign in a balanced manner, without siding with any electoral competitors.

• Jurnal de Chişinău showed no obvious deviations from professional and deontological standards. The larger number of materials about the PL candidate denotes a slight favoring for him by this newspaper.

• Timpul de dimineaţă actively covered the electoral campaign, without grave violations of ethical and professional principles. Judging by the frequency of materials favoring/disfavoring certain candidates, we observed a favoring of the PL candidate and disfavoring of the PCRM candidate.

• The publications Moldova suverană and Nezavisimaia Moldova openly campaigned for the PCRM candidate and disfavored the electoral competitor of the PL. Both newspapers had flaws regarding impartiality and balance of sources, as well as diversity of opinions. The language used, especially in opinion items, was often pejorative, and many articles were accompanied by faked images violating deontological norms.

The Final Report is available here

The four intermediary monitoring reports contain a total of nine case studies regarding professional defects at some monitored stations and newspapers. These reports can also be found on the website www.azi.md, in the segment Media Literacy.

Coalition 2009 is a voluntary union of Moldovan non-governmental organizations that aims to contribute to ensuring free, fair, transparent and democratic elections of the Moldovan Parliament and continues the activities of promotion of free and fair elections as started by coalitions 2005 and 2007. At present Coalition 2009 comprises over 70 non-government organizations.