The image of international actors in Moldovan TV news

Aug 17, 2023

The WatchDog.MD Community launched an initiative in 2022 to monitor the coverage of international issues in TV news in Moldova. The effort is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) under the project “Strengthening the quality and information capacity of independent media”. This report presents the main trends identified at the national level as a result of monitoring the TV media space between December 2022 and February 2023, and provides a brief analysis and contextualization of the findings identified. The material is the second in a series of studies in the pipeline. Previously, in February 2023, the first study entitled Reflection of the main geopolitical actors in Moldovan TV news in November 2022 was presented.

The aim of this report is to understand how public opinion is structured and shaped in relation to international political leaders and foreign states. One of the main objectives is to measure the influence of domestic TV news in shaping public perception and geopolitical preferences of Moldovan citizens.

To address this objective, the WatchDog.MD team tracks what people see in the daily TV news bulletins about international players; estimates and determines the impact of the news based on the popularity of selected TV stations; and assesses the context in which different TV stations present and mention the most important world leaders and the countries they lead. Subsumed, these three directions contribute to understanding the image created by television on foreign countries through the most watched TV channels in the Republic of Moldova.

The project is not the first of its kind in the Community’s portfolio, but represents a continuation of the direction launched in 2018 with the study “The content of television information space in the Republic of Moldova and how it shapes electoral behaviour”. The main conclusion drawn from the study was that the Russian Federation dominates the information space in terms of foreign policy news, and therefore this fact influences the degree of increased trust in Vladimir Putin, which at that time was over 60% of respondents in the Republic of Moldova.

The study can be accessed here.

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