The elected mayor of the capital, Ion Ceban, was favoured by five television stations out of the ten monitored by the Center for Independent Journalism (CJI) during the period between the first and the second rounds of the general local elections.
At an IPN press conference, Nadine Gogu, executive director of the CJI, said that NTV and Accent TV stations largely favoured Ion Ceban, while at the same time disadvantaging the candidate of the ACUM bloc, Andrei Năstase. "Ion Ceban appeared mostly in a positive context on Prime TV and Publika TV, stations that obviously disadvantaged Andrei Năstase," mentioned Nadine Gogu.
According to the monitoring report, although it offered equal space to the two candidates, RTR Moldova presented Ion Ceban in several news stories in a positive context, while Andrei Nastase was mostly presented in neutral news stories.
Nadine Gogu noted that Central Television was openly in favour of the "Șor" Party, with Andrei Năstase and Ion Ceban being disadvantaged.
Moldova 1, Pro TV, Jurnal TV and TV 8 channels have neutrally reflected the activities of the electoral contenders, ensuring pluralism of opinions, without favouring or disadvantaging any candidate.
"We are far from independent media in the Republic of Moldova because half of the monitored TV stations showed biased behaviour, clearly favouring a certain electoral candidate," stressed Polina Panainte, secretary of the Civic Coalition for free and fair elections.
The authors of the report recommend the Audiovisual Council to use the monitoring reports to assess whether the monitored stations have respected the right to complete, objective and truthful information.
The monitoring report was developed by the Center for Independent Journalism, with the support of the East Europe Foundation, from resources provided by Sweden and with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and UKAID.