ABSTRACTThe 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.
The goal of the research was to find out whether material that could be classified as hidden political advertising appears on TV channedls during the pre-election period. Four TV channels were monitored during the time period from 28 February to 12 March 2001: LTV-1, LTV-2, LNT and TV3, for a total of 20 000 minutes.
The key features signalling hidden advertising in mass media are the following:
It was established that during the pre-election campaign all TV channels broadcast materials that could be regarded as hidden political advertising. The cases indicate significant violation of professional and ethical principles, which may have involved buying time on certain TV programmes, or been a result of lack of professionalism. Most of these cases involve a politician appearing in various programmes, where journalists ask easy and pleasant questions. In the programmes broadcast by LNT, 109 cases were found which could be regarded as violations (51% of the total), on LTV-2 – 78 cases (36%), on TV3 – 15 cases (7%) and on LTV-1 – 13 cases (6%).
Monitoring of hidden advertising on Latvian TV channels