Petru Macovei: Media disseminate a lot of opinion and not many balanced news items

In the electoral period, which is important for the democratic development of the country, the mass media should fully cover the election campaign. In the Republic of Moldova, the media disseminate a lot of opinions and not many balanced news items. In the current campaign, given the pandemic and the exceptional situations in the country, when people’s rights could be encroached upon, the mass media should inform the people how to vote, in particular the diaspora, Petru Macovei, executive director of the Association of Independent Press (API), stated in IPN’s public debate “About old and new faults of electoral process 2020 inveigled by the press and old and new faults of the press, unveiled by electoral process”.

“We have opinions instead of news articles or a mélange of facts and opinions so that the person no longer realizes what’s that information about. There are many attempts to present the opponents in a negative light. In journalism, the facts and the opinions should be provided separately. The opinions are also very important, but the public should be able to draw conclusions depending on what they read, not on what is imbedded in them through pseudo-news,” said Petru Macovei.

According to him, the media are very important in creating the culture of the citizens of a country. As an important part of the media transmits erroneous messages as to how democracy functions, how the decisions are taken in the country, the people cannot be expected to have the necessary discernment.

Petru Macovei noted that in each election campaign, the ruling party gives instructions that are fulfilled by the Audiovisual Council. “We remember the election campaign of 2019, the local elections, when the Audiovisual Council decided not to punish any of those who broke the law. Those who neglected the law and promoted the candidates of the power and of the parties that finance those TV channels remained unpunished. The situation is similar now. The Council, which is not a nongovernmental organization to formulate recommendations and suggestions, published its report. The law is law and should not be applied selectively,” he stated.

The debate “About old and new faults of electoral process 2020 inveigled by the press and old and new faults of the press, unveiled by electoral process” was the sixth installment of the electoral series “We and the President: who elects who, who represents who” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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