The Media Industry Development Authority has confirmed that an independent media monitoring unit will be established soon that will monitor whether the media organisations are giving equal access to all political parties in the lead up to the general elections.
Chairman, Ashwin Raj said they have received complaints that there is not equal access given to some entities. Raj said this unit will have around five people who will have wealth of experience having worked in the media industry but currently not affiliated with any of the media outlets or the government.
He said another thing that will become a requirement from now is that all media outlets will have to disclose their in house editorial policies. Raj said he needs to know how and why certain letters and opinion pieces get published to the exclusion of others. Source: Fijivillage News
Fijileaks Editor: This was sent to all media outlets following MIDA's Editors Roundtable for their input:
Independent Media Monitoring Unit
The establishment of an independent Media Monitoring Unit that will observe media coverage of the 2014 elections to assess:
1. Assess whether media houses meet specific legal requirements prior to the elections or not;
2. The access granted to relevant political actors, primarily to candidates, political parties and coalitions, in the mass media and whether this coverage is fair and balanced;
3. Whether candidates, political parties and coalitions standing for election were covered in an unbiased and equitable manner, particularly by public media;
4. The tone of media coverage towards the candidates, political parties and coalitions;
5. Whether the electorate is gaining diverse and impartial information in order to make an informed choice on the Election Day;
6. Whether the media are free in forming their editorial policy and in expressing their views without impediments and intimidation.
Quantitative monitoring may consist of the following:
· Analysis of time and space allocated to the relevant political actors such as political parties & candidates standing for election and the official bodies- e.g. President and govt.
· Evaluate performance of selected media outlets against ethical and professional standards such as balance, accuracy, timely omission of information, advantage of incumbency, inflammatory language.
· As assessment of the manner in which relevant actors are portrayed
· Evaluation of the tone of coverage –whether it is biased for or against the subject or is neutral
· Measuring the tone of the media coverage will be integral in assessing the overall tone of the media outlets towards contestants and different political entities, in particular in the public media. This will include both broadcast and print media.