The Civil Society Monitoring Network (CSMN) for Fair Elections has released a report on its monitoring of news coverage related to this year’s presidential election in Mongolia.

The study analyzed information and televised news stories broadcasted by Mongolian National Broadcaster, TV9, C1, UBS, and MN25 during the first four days of the presidential campaign.

The following are highlights from the CSMN report.

MNB ALLOWED MORE AIRTIME FOR S.GANBAATAR

CSMN found that MNB failed to give the same amount of coverage to the three presidential candidates, as it mentioned candidate S.Ganbaatar more often than the other two candidates.

The time allocated for each candidate was similar, but discussion of Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) candidate S.Ganbaatar made up 35 percent of all presidential election-related news coverage, while Democratic Party (DP) candidate Kh.Battulga got 34 percent of the share, and Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) candidate M.Enkhbold got 31 percent of the station’s coverage.

CHANNELS TEND TO FOCUS ON ONE PARTICULAR CANDIDATE

Each television channel seemed to give more coverage to a particular candidate, as observed by CSMN.

In particular, 74 percent of C1’s election-related news and 40 percent of MN25’s broadcasts mentioned candidate Kh.Battulga. CSMN concluded that two of the four commercial television channels favored the DP candidate.

TV9 gave more coverage to candidate S.Ganbaatar, precisely 38 percent of its broadcasts, and UBS gave more coverage to candidate M.Enkhbold, around 43 percent of its broadcasts.

C1 INVOLVED IN NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING

C1 aired the most negative campaigning during the first four days of the election campaign. According to the CSMN study, over one-fifth of C1’s broadcasts were negative stories about the candidates.

The study also showed that C1 shared the most implicit messages. While C1 aired programs with implic- it messages 45 percent of the time, UBS broadcasts had the least amount of implicit messages, taking up seven percent of its programming on the candidates. MNB’s broadcasts did not contain any implicit campaigning.

TELEVISION CHANNELS SAID TO LACK REAL JOURNALISTIC STANDARDS

CSMN underlined that hardly any television channels maintained fair and impartial coverage of the candidates, and explained that this was related to the excessive amount of paid programs they aired.

According to the study, all television channels included in the study promoted candidates for 76 percent of their on-air time. Experts stressed that the television channels lacked independent journalistic standards for the information, news, and programming dedicated to educating their viewers.

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