Monitoring of hidden advertising in the press 0

  • Autors:Nellija Locmele
  • Organizācija:Delna
  • Gads:2001
  • Valoda:Latvian


The research was carried out within the framework of the "Transparency in the financing of political parties” project implemented by Transparency International Latvia "Delna" and the Soros Foundation.

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Taking into account the level of credibility the Latvian society assigns to mass media and the fact that press is a significant source of information to citizens contributing to the making of their political decisions, the goal of the research was to identify whether during the pre-election campaign the printed media contains information that may be classified as hidden political advertising, as well as to prepare for further research prior to the 8th parliamentary elections.

In the time period from 10 February to 10 March 2001 the researchers analysed the twelve most popular national and regional newspapers in Latvian and Russian - Lauku Avīze, Diena, Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze, Rīgas Balss, Panorama Latvii, Čas, Liesma, Rēzeknes Vēstis, Million, Zemgales Ziņas, Kurzemes Vārds and Ventas Balss.

The following were established as the key features signalling hidden advertising in the press (excluding editorial articles):

  • Homogeneity or lack of criticism in the material (for example, a news story lacks significant information, the opinion of the involved parties or critical approach to the source; in interviews only pleasant or unpleasant questions are asked and other criteria).

  • The story is printed without any other obvious reason than just the promotion or calumniating of a party or a particular politician (in the media a particular political party or a politician often appears in a positive or negative context; there is information about the everyday life or other activities of the politician unrelated to politics, as well as other criteria).

  • During the research a total of 232 publications were spotted which seem to contain hidden political advertising during the municipal pre-election period. The research identifies the five most common types of hidden political advertising: promotion of particular candidates or lists that had not been denoted as political advertising (55 cases); informative materials containing positive or quite the opposite – negative publicity for particular candidates (47); positive interviews (33); homogeneity of information (24); non-political positive publicity of a particular candidate (22). Most of the violations were found in the Russian press (62% of the total amount), while local newspapers published 24% of suspicious articles.

    Monitoring of hidden advertising on Latvian TV channels

    (Part 1 (pdf Latvian, PDF, 229 KB)pdf)

    (Part 2 (pdf Latvian, PDF, 229 KB)pdf)

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