Balanced and equal coverage: Yerevan Press Club publishes report on TV campaign monitoring

Balanced and equal coverage: Yerevan Press Club publishes report on TV campaign monitoring

President Serzh Sargsyan’s promise to hold good elections seems to be realized in terms of TV coverage. It appears that TV companies are open to all oppositionists, which have been either not covered at all or have been presented negatively within the past four years.

The Yerevan Press Club, which has been monitoring the programs of seven TV channels and Public Radio of Armenia from April 8 (the day of the election official campaign start), states in its interim report on Monitoring of Armenian Broadcast Media Coverage of Elections that “On the whole, during the ten-day period covered by the report the studied broadcasters provided balanced coverage of the political forces taking part in the elections.”

The Yerevan Press Club’s study included all programs aired at 6 p.m. - 1 a.m. on TV and radio channels, with the exception of political (i.e. pre-election promotion materials), commercial and social advertisement.

“Unlike the previous stages of the monitoring, no cases of programs, which contain obvious attributes of hidden political promotion, were recorded. The eight parties and one party bloc received mostly equal conditions for introducing the electorate to their programs and views,” the report reads.

According to the results of the monitoring, attention to political forces was most equally distributed on the Second Armenian TV Channel (H2). And the largest divergence between airtime allocations to different parties/bloc was recorded on “Kentron” TV channel, where Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) had an overwhelming advantage over its competitors in terms of coverage volume. A similar advantage of one party (in this case Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), Dashnaktsutyun) was observed on “Yerkir Media” TV channel.

On all other channels coverage of ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) was the most intensive: according to cumulative indicators of all studied broadcasters this party was the leader both in terms of reference frequency and airtime allocation.