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TRM Ombudsman: I did not receive any notification during this electoral campaign

19 July 2021
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Carmelia Albu, the audience ombudsman of Teleradio-Moldova (TRM), claims that she did not receive any notification from civil society representatives or citizens about the content broadcast by the company’s TV and radio stations during the electoral campaign for the early parliamentary elections of July 11. She made this statement at the press club on July 16, organized by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) to discuss the deontological aspects and manipulation techniques used by the media in Moldova.

“During this electoral campaign, no notification from civil society or the public about violations of deontological standards came to my address,” ​​said Carmelia Albu during the discussions that concerned, among other things, the performance of the Moldova 1 television station, monitored by the IJC during the parliamentary campaign and in the spring of this year.

Since the representatives of the editorial office or administration of the public television did not accept the invitation to participate in the press club, Carmelia Albu noted that she cannot comment on behalf of the company on the content broadcast by the television during the electoral period. At the same time, she noted that the ombudsman’s service had not been alerted about any violations.

The television station Moldova 1 was monitored by both the Broadcasting Council and the IJC. The IJC produced five monitoring reports during the campaign for the early elections in July. According to the last report, which covered the period between July 2 and 10, about a quarter of the news stories aired by the public broadcaster focused on accusations launched by some parties against others. “In the last week of the electoral campaign, Moldova 1 treated most of the competitors neutrally, except for a slight favoring of BECS and disfavoring of PAS and of President Maia Sandu, through selection of topics and the angle of approach. While BECS was the protagonist of materials on campaign activities and accusations launched by some of its representatives, PAS and the Presidency appeared mainly in the position of answering to accusations, as well as in news about campaign activities,” the IJC report concludes. According to the IJC, Moldova 1 cited in its news almost three times more men than women – 99 versus 34 (25%), respectively, showing a pronounced gender imbalance.

On the other hand, the BC specialists came to the conclusion that the connotation of the coverage of the electoral competitors on the public television station Moldova 1 between June 26 and July 9 was generally neutral, positive, and/or negative. The gender ratio, according to the BC data, was 76.7% men and 23.3% women.