You are here

‘Is BC Slipping From a ‘Democratic Political Hand’ to a ‘Socialist One’? How the BC Comments on its Decision to Monitor only Certain TV Channels

01 October 2019
54 reads
By reducing the number of monitored channels (Moldova 1, Moldova 2, Prime TV and Canal 2), the Broadcasting Council (BC) would have protected certain broadcasters affiliated to the socialists, which is one of the currently governing parties. Asked by Media-azi.md to comment on the Council’s decision, researcher Victor Gotisan said that the BC was slipping from a ‘democratic political hand’ to a ‘socialist one’, thus occurring the phenomenon of ‘political reconfiguration in the media’. Ion Bunduchi, Executive Director of the Electronic Press Association (APEL), was also stunned by the BC decision, noting that, previously, the monitoring showed that the public TV channels behaved fairly in the election campaign, which cannot be said about the broadcasters suspected of political partisanship – Accent TV, NTV Moldova and others.
 
Once the BC decided to monitor 24/24, for ten days, only six media service providers in the election campaign, among which four TV channels – Moldova 1, Moldova 2 (which rebroadcast, substantially, Moldova 1 archive), Prime TV and Canal 2 – certain media researchers suspect that the regulator is protecting certain politically affiliated TV channels.
 
When asked by Media-azi.md to comment on BC decision to monitor only the four TV channels, Victor Gotisan said that the broadcasting regulator was slipping from a ‘democratic political hand’ to a ‘socialist one’. Thus, according to Gotisan, ‘a political reconfiguration in the audiovisual sector’ would take place.
 
 ‘The CA included in the monitoring list only these four TV channels, so as not to monitor the two or three channels affiliated with the socialists. And to avoid comments on this topic, the BC members did not include in the list another three or four independent TV channels’, commented Victor Gotisan for Media-azi.md.
 
In his turn, Ion Bunduchi, Executive Director of the Electronic Press Association (APEL), claimed that he understood, on the one hand, that the regulator had to monitor 24/24 and that this required effort and time, but on the other hand, this decision raised several doubts. According to him, ‘all the monitoring so far has shown that, usually, in elections, the national public provider has a more or less fair behaviour’. This cannot be said ‘about other PSRM affiliated TV channels, such as Accent TV or NTV Moldova, which were also suspected of political partisanship, and sanctioned by the BC’.
 
In such a situation, the media expert asks himself: ‘Why should certain media providers, which showed fairness before, be monitored, and leave alone those that have previously admitted violations?! Moreover, we are talking about local general elections, which the national media providers are not obliged to cover, but only ‘have the right’ to do it. In general, where’s the sense in BC actions to this end? Is BC somehow afraid that its 24/24 monitoring of other TV channels, including those affiliated to PSRM, might reveal serious and extremely serious violations? Everyone should comply with the broadcasting law and the BC should monitor this compliance, isn’t it so?!’, commented Ion Bunduchi.

Note that during a press conference held the last week, the BC motivated the new monitoring formula by the fact that the number of national broadcasters was reduced since August this year. ‘For the first time ever the BC monitors on the basis of Article 70(12) of the Electoral Code – only national broadcasters. Previously, BC opted for monitoring the main newscasts as the number of national providers was large – 16-17. Now BC has the possibility to monitor these TV channels 24/24 as the number of national providers is lower’, BC member Lidia Viziru explained to the journalists.


Note that, in the previous election campaign, the BC monitored the main newscasts of 13 television broadcasters: Moldova 1, TV8, PRIME TV, Publika TV, Canal 2, Canal 3, Accent TV, NTV Moldova, Pro TV Chisinau, Jurnal TV, RTR Moldova, Orhei TV and Central Television.