Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

Mass Media Information Source in Electoral Campaigns or a Political Actor?

Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

Mass Media Information Source in Electoral Campaigns or a Political Actor?

Article excerpt

Election campaigns are the top-level agreements in the cyclical process called political communication. The electoral campaigns never cease, they begin immediately after the elections and reach their peak during their election time. Political communication is more than political marketing, ie selling the political product with the candidate's emblem presented to the electorate.

Political communication involves a set of techniques and technologies where the media is not only a link between the political actor and the audience. In the globalized atmosphere of our time, the media is not just the public space arena. In the connections between the electorate and the politics the media appears as a forming factor. In Fig. 1, we present the connections of the media in the relations: electorate-politics.

At the same time, the media establishes relations between political coverage and globalization, between politics and the Internet, highlights the reconciliation between ethics and politics, between the political action and exerts the influence on the voting option. In Fig. 2 we present the media relations, which lead to the formation of the voting option.

In the study that we present to you, we focused on the information functions in the electoral campaigns that the media components perform in the digital age. The sociological research shows us that in an election campaign there are three major factors that interact: 1) the campaign actions; 2) the actions of the opponents whose goal is the activity of the political actor; 3) the media institutions (ALGRAD, 1999).

Mass media in electoral campaigns operates under the legal framework: the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova (CRM) (The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, 1994); the Electoral Code (EC); the Media Law (ML) (Press Law, 1995); the Audiovisual Code of the Republic of Moldova (AC RM); the Regulation on the coverage of the electoral campaign in the Republic of Moldova; the Law on the Freedom of Expression; the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (Electoral Code, 1997). The legal framework ensures that citizens are informed in an equitable, impartial and balanced way - without the interference from party authorities, social - political bodies and independent persons enrolled in the electoral race. According to the Media Law (Article 1, paragraph 1), the State guarantees to all persons the right to free expression of opinions and ideas, to truthful information on events in domestic and international life through periodicals and press agencies, operating under the conditions of political pluralism. The law provides (Article 5, paragraph 1): "The right to found periodical publications and press agencies, irrespective of their organizational-legal form, is held by any legal person of the Republic of Moldova and a natural person, a citizen of the Republic of Moldova who is 18 years old and lives on its territory".

Moldovan media is mostly self-sufficient, it ensures its existence through the sale of media products and the space offered to the public by donations, grants and, in case of children's press, if the co-founder is the government, from budget financing. For a quarter of a century of democratic transformation of the media society in the Republic of Moldova which has evolved from the printed press distributed partly through sales and mail, from radio broadcasting to new digital media broadcast by satellite, cable, on digital platforms, through the Internet. According to the research conducted by the Association of Sociologists and Demographers of the Republic of Moldova (ASDRM), the population gives the highest confidence, after the church, to the mass media. While no even a quarter of citizens believe in the Parliament elected by them, almost half (45%) of the population trusts the media. For (74%)of the citizens the most important source of information is television, followed by the internet (35%) and radio (22%). Printed media is preferred by 19% of the population. …

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