Monitoring: Who Is Criticized By The Media Before The Elections?

The media actively covered the pre-election campaign long before the start of the official campaign, and in particular in the week preceding it, which is due to the intensity of the political struggle and the unprecedented number of political forces participating in the elections.

This is mentioned in the May 31-June 6 report of the first stage of the Armenian media monitoring conducted by the Yerevan Press Club during the elections.

This time the work of all 6 Armenian national TV channels (First Channel of the Armenian Public Television, A-TV, “Armenia,” “Yerkir Media,” “Kentron,” “Shant”) and the Public Radio of Armenia were studied.

On these channels, the main issues of the news program broadcast during the evening prime time (18.00-00.00), news-analytical programs and social-political/debate programs were examined.

The research shows that the newly created or not-so-well-known parties and blocs have been excluded from media attention.

The focus of public attention on the two political forces, the “Armenia” Alliance and the “Civil Contract” party, also referred to their coverage.

If, for example, the “Armenia” Alliance was given about 11 hours by the mentioned media, and the Civil Contract, 6 then the parties of  “Azatakan,” “Azatutyun,” “National Agenda,” “Pan-Armenian National Statehood,” “Democratic of Armenia,” “European of Armenia” were covered in part and the airtime dedicated to them was only eight seconds.

The “Armenia” Alliance is the leader in terms of the total volume of airtime, and “Civil Contract” is the leader in the frequency of references.

The ruling “Civil Contract” party is also the leader in the number of negative references to it in the media – 66, the majority of which – 40 – were recorded by Yerkir media.

And they have received positive mentions only twice, by Public Television and Shant.

“Yerkir Media” surpassed all the other surveyed broadcasters in the prime time of the evening in terms of airtime dedicated to the elections.

The number of positive and negative references in the monitored media about the “Armenia” Alliance is almost equal – eight positive and nine negative. The other parties and alliances were spoken mainly from neutral positions.

It is the split between these two leaders and the other 24 campaigners that prevents the authors of the study from talking about balanced coverage of the campaign in the run-up to the official campaign.

As the pre-election campaign of June 7-18 was covered, the mentioned mass media will become clear as a result of summarizing the next stage of monitoring carried out by the Yerevan Press Club.

Mane Grigoryan

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