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TeleRadio Moldova: biased news, lopsided coverage

A broadcasting programme monitoring report, published by the Independent Journalism Centre and the Centre of Analysis and Sociological, Political and Psycholgical Investigations, comes to the conclusion that TeleRadio Moldova covers excessively the actions of the government and the ruling Communist Party, while ignoring the opposition’s initiatives.

According to the report, the government appeared 39 times in broadcasts with direct or indirect electoral connotations, while the Christian Democratic People's Party (PPCD) was allowed to come into public view only twice, the Alliance Our Moldova (AMN) twice, and the non-parliamentary parties four times.

As regards the critical assessment, the national stations' evaluations are similarly lopsided: the television evaluated positively the government 28 times and neutrally 22 times; PPCD appeared five times on television, and each time it was evaluated negatively; the AMN parliamentary faction was monitored by national television eight times and received invariably negative commentaries.

The lack in balance is also proved by following statistics presented in the report: President Voronin appeared on National Radio and Television 36 times, Premier Vasile Tarlev - 18 times, Communist parliamentary faction leader, Victor Stepaniuc six times, Parliament Speaker Eugenia Ostapciuc four times, Chisinau Mayor Serafim Urechean seven times, AMN faction leader Dumitru Braghis four times, PPCD chairman Iurie Rosca three times.

The activities of the chief of state and the cabinet enjoy most of the attention of the national broadcasters who by neglecting the opposition and shying political debates serve as propaganda tools of the present power. In conclusion: Moldova 1 and Radio Moldova are still state structures far from becoming public institutions.