about the organization of the debate “Electronic press and political culture: responsibility for the tamed”, the 11th episode in the series “Developing political culture in public debates”, the 11th episode in the series “Developing political culture in public debates”. Series of public debates held by Info-Prim Neo news agency in its conference room”, supported by German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
The 11th debate within the project took place on October 17, 2012, and focused on the “Role of press in general and of electronic press in particular in the communication of society and political class, and in forming/deforming political culture in Moldovan society. The participants were head of the Constitutional Court Alexandru Tanase, chairman of the Broadcasting Coordinating Council Marian Pocaznoi, head of National Broadcasting Company Teleradio-Moldova’s strategic development service Constantin Vulpe, Publika TV general director Dumitru Tira, Euro TV director Ecaterina Stratan, Prime TV news director Andrei Cibotaru, N4 editor in chief and moderator Gheorghe Gonta, as well as experts Vasile Spinei, head of the NGO Access-Info, and Igor Botan, director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT.
The interest in the topic of the debate stems from the importance that press in general and audiovisual press in particular has for the forming or deforming of political culture in society. Respectively, the audiovisual has a high responsibility for the level of political culture at certain stages of development of society. This situation is justified through the expression used by Antoine de Saint-Exupery about the responsibility we have for the tamed ones. It is not only a general responsibility, because the quality of voters depends on the quality of political culture, the quality of the government depends on the quality of voters, and our very existence as press, our quality, freedom and conditions of work depend on the quality of government.
The real situation in this field was illustrated by a mini case study carried out by the debate moderator. He spoke about the public’s reaction to the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moldova on August 22, 2012. The most popular topics of the day were determined with a news top created by a news aggregator portal, well-known in Moldova. Thus, the Chancellor’s visit was among the top news nor 2 hours after her arrival at the airport, nor 4 hours, nor 6 and so on. Her name appeared only in two top news at certain moments of the day: one referred to her personal life, the other to the removal of a terrace in the center of the city on the occasion of Merkel’s visit. The debates focused on the reasons behind this situation, on its negative and positive effects, on the models promoted by various broadcasters, on national and international regulations in the field, on fundamental human rights, on the professionalism of the current journalists, and on suggestions and recommendations. These issues were examined from different points of view, represented by the highly diverse format of the debaters.
The Agencu published 5 news reports on the debate (see the English version of www.info-prim.md: on 17.10.12, „Moldova lacks culture of communication and of information consumption, debates” - http://info-prim.md/?a=10&nD=2012/10/17&ay=49871, on 19.10.12 „Part of press shows lack of professionalism and respect for public interest, Alexandru Tanase” - http://info-prim.md/?a=10&nD=2012/10/19&ay=49900, on 20.10.12, „Press is sometimes a tool in others’ hands, Marian Pocaznoi” - http://info-prim.md/?a=10&nD=2012/10/20&ay=49929, on 22.10.12 „Publika TV director: I will never allow somebody to scoff at me” - http://info-prim.md/?a=10&nD=2012/10/22&ay=49943, on 24.10.12 „Moldova needs strategy for European communication, opinions” - http://info-prim.md/?a=10&nD=2012/10/24&ay=49998.
Valeriu Vasilică, director of Info-Prim Neo
October 19, 2012