Case Study. NIT, Curier, 13 July, 21.30
This Videomonitor analyzes the electoral news story broadcast in the newscast Curier of 13 July on NIT, and reports on the decision of the Central Election Commission (CEC) to ban running an advertising clip by the PCRM.
According to the analyzed news story, the Democratic Party from Moldova notified the Central Election Commission to consider the timeliness of running an electoral clip by the PCRM. Its protagonist and its direct target turned to be Marian Lupu. That clip resumed, in an adverse context, the speech made by the present president of the PDM when he was a PCRM member and was pledging in favor of the Communists in the electoral race for the April 5 elections. Considering the PDM’s notification, the CEC banned using that ad. The decision triggered the PCRM’s disagreement, which intended to sue it, in its turn.
NIT neglects the regulations of running electoral advertising
Tackling this subject in a news story broadcast in the newscast Curier, NIT played that ad in the beginning of the material. Thus, the TV station committed at least two offenses at the same time:
It violated art. 22 of the Regulation on covering the elections for the new parliament on 29 July by Moldovan media, approved through CEC decision no. 2641 of 23 June 2009, which expressly provides the following: “In news bulletins, newscasts, sports programs, programs for children, religious and/or cultural programs, no electoral advertising is allowed.”
It ignored the CEC’s decision to stop airing that clip, a decision to which the report actually refers.
This way, NIT showed itself as the indubitable representative of the PCRM.
The electoral news story has an imbalanced character
The topic reported in the electoral story is about a conflict. That is why, broadcasting the views of all the sides involved would have totally matched the professional norms and would have allowed the information consumer to freely make an own view about the covered subject. However, NIT preferred to show the reasons of only a single side (Sergiu Sârbu, the PCRM representative at the CEC,) ignoring the other two (PDM and CEC.) As a result, the treatment of the conflict situation turned to be unilateral and partial. We’ll also point out that these traits of the analyzed story were backed with the information by Moldpres (“UTC leaders from Moldova (young Communists – e.n.): the Liberal Parties promote a policy discriminating the youth, and the PCRM is the only party which will certainly have young representatives in the future parliament”).
To conclude with, we shall remark: set names latin1;INSERTing the ad conveying a clear anti-PDM message into a news story, conjugated with the biased treatment of the controversial subject confers this electoral story electioneering matter. Such a practice runs counter the professional norms of fairly informing the citizens. In this context, we’ll remind that that story was broadcast on the day when the Broadcasting Coordinating Council, in a communiqué, recommended the broadcasters “to insure impartiality, balance and to favor the free formation of opinions in newscasts by presenting the main views of the contestants, and in the situation when the subjects are related to conflicts, to observe the principles of multiple-source information.”
The Videomonitor is produced in the Project “Monitoring the political/electoral actors’ presence on the main television channels during the electoral campaign for the early parliamentary elections in Moldova in 2009 and enhancing the impact of the monitoring by depicting the cases of severe violation of legal provisions and professional ethics.” This project is financially supported by the Eurasia Foundation from the resources provided by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of the commentary do not necessarily share the views of the Eurasia Foundation, SIDA or USAID.