Report on the Мedia Coverage during the Second Round of 2021 Local Election Campaign

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Skopje, 5 November 2021 – Today, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services published the Report on the Manner Broadcasters Reported during the Second Round of the Election Campaign (from 18 September to 29 October 2021). The monitoring covered a total of 13 programme services – the national commercial television stations of Alsat-M, Alfa, Kanal 5, Sitel, Telma, 24 Vesti, 21-M, Shenja and Klan Macedonia – and the programme channels of the Public Broadcaster – MRT1, MRT2, Parliament’s Channel and The First Programme of the Macedonian Radio (MRA1). The monitoring results showed no violations of the provisions of the Electoral Code.

In the second round of the campaign as well, the daily news programmes kept the insights into the specific contents of the election platforms for municipalities’ development in the background, giving priority, through reports, statements and announcements, to the ‘voice’ of (post-)rally inter-party duels, predominantly personified through the public appearances of the leaders of SDSM, VMRO/DPMNE, DUI, Besa and the Coalition between the Alliance of Albanians and Alternative.

In the central TV-journals of the broadcasters analyzed, reporting on the mayoral candidacies, in most cases, was brought down to statements selected from paid, coalition/party advertising materials, aired within distinct sections, however without a method for confronting the incumbents in a given municipality.

The news departments of the Public Broadcasting Service – MRT1, MRT2 and MRA1 – met the requirements of the Electoral Code to ensure four-part thematic division of their central daily news programmes, and this into thematic groups of 30% for the government, the opposition and the current developments in the state and around the world, each, and 10% for the independent candidates and the activities of the non-parliamentary parties.

As regards the debates, the national broadcasters were mainly interested in the duels concerning the the city of Skopje and the Skopje municipalities of Centar, Karpos and Cair, as well as the larger Macedonian municipalities, such as Bitola, Kumanovo, Tetovo, Kicevo, Ohrid and Gostivar, i.e. the municipalities that had been highlighted, even in the debates of analysts on the Macedonian political scene, as key to the position of the current, coalition executive power of SDSM and DUI.

The interviews appeared to be the editors’ backup variant, in the second electoral round as well, for presenting the political offer, as certain broadcasters faced with either an open boycott or some other reasons for avoiding the planned debates again.

MRT 1 and TV 24 Vesti were the only ones to provide coverage for persons with sensory impairments.

The Report on the Manner Broadcasters Reported during the Second Round of the Election Campaign (from 18 September to 29 October 2021) is available at this link.



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