The regulatory body assessed prime time news programmes as well as talk shows and debates
The Regulatory Authority for the Media (ERC) recently published a report describing how prime time news programmes on RTP1, RTP2, SIC, TVI and CMTV television channels have covered 2022 parliamentary elections during the electoral period (from 16 to 28 January 2022). In parallel, the report also looked at the type of participations of the different candidacies in talk shows and debates on RTP3, SIC Noticias e TVI24/CNN Portugal television channels during pre-campaign and election campaign phases.
The analysis aimed at assessing whether the candidacies were given access to television news programmes through the monitoring of the participation of their representatives, as well as possible party political pluralism imbalances, in accordance with the Law 72-A/2015 of 23 July during its period of application (Article 3). It should be noted that, in debates, broadcasters must ensure the participation of parties with «political and social representativeness […] which is calculated taking into account if candidacies obtained representation in office during the last elections, in the body to which they seek election» not preventing however «media entities from including other candidacies in the debates they organise, in the use of their editorial freedom» (Articles 4, 5, 6 and 7).
In addition to recording the above-mentioned participation, ERC also took into account both the thematic focus and emphasis these broadcasters put on the coverage of the campaign. In December 2021 and January 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic context was still dominant and the candidates were holding discussions on: organization models of polling stations, the future of the TAP national airline, and the policies of the previous Socialist Party (PS) government.
The full report on “Television Coverage of 2022 Parliamentary Elections” is available here.