"Monitoring of media coverage of elections" - new Council of Europe toolkit available

19 November 2020
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For many voters the media is the most important source of information impacting the choices they make at the ballot box. Consequently, proper media coverage of all political parties and candidates, as well as unbiased presentation of information relevant to electoral choices are essential for democratic elections.

During elections, media monitoring by civil society organisations provides benchmarks for judging the fairness of the election process, and gives a professional, comprehensive and objective assessment of political diversity and balance in the news and coverage of current affairs. The results of media monitoring can help to initiate and substantiate open discussions about the objectivity and quality of the media’s reporting as well as to promote media compliance with international standards and good practices of fair, balanced and impartial media coverage of elections.

Thus, the Council of Europe* has developed a Toolkit on “Monitoring of media coverage of elections” to provide civil society organisations with a detailed methodology of how to implement a monitoring project of media coverage of elections, containing description of its stages and activities, as well as practical step-by-step guidelines and tips with regard to monitoring of different types of media (TV, printed and online media, social media).

The publication contains tools and methods that can be applicable in any Council of Europe member state and adjusted according to the given context and research question to be answered, as well as presents media monitoring case studies from several countries.

* The Council of Europe contributes to a more participatory and inclusive political and electoral processes in its member states, particularly, by equipping civil society organisations with the knowledge of the Council of Europe electoral acquis, standards in election observation and reporting techniques. This toolkit was developed within the framework of the Council of Europe project "Supporting the transparency, inclusiveness and integrity of electoral practice in Ukraine", implemented within the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018–2022.