Media Research in Moldova: Opportunities and Challenges Prepared by Angela SIRBU and Natalia ANGHELI-ZAICENCO for the “SEENPM Researchers’ Network Founding Conference” 3-5 March, 2006.
Overview of media research in Moldova ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS: - Journalism department of Moldova State University with own PhD program; • Journalism department of ULIM/private university with own PhD program. CHALLENGES: Fewstaff members speak foreign languages and even fewer participate in regional conferences or write for peer-reviewed publications or trade journals. Research topics rarely address current needs of the industry, up-to-date methods are seldom used, and results are rarely disseminated to wider audiences.
Media research by private institutions: • TNS (operates as branch of TNS Ukraine) carries out regular audience measuring in print and broadcast media throughout the country using up-to-date methods and tools. • AGB Nielsen Media Research (branch of AGB Switzerland) carries out regular TV audience measurements using “peoplemeter” households. • IMAS- Chisinau (branch of IMAS-Romania) carries out a full range of qualitative and quantitative media studies upon request. • TV Monitoring (registered in Moldova) carries out monitoring of advertising in broadcasting, print media, and outdoor.
Media research by private institutions LIMITATIONS: • Commercial data are available only to “paying” clients. • There have been instances when clients tried to suppress “unwelcome” data and even prevent “unfavorable indices,” especially the market shares of different broadcasters, from reaching other beneficiaries of these services (e.g. from reaching ad agencies, etc).
Media research by state institutions – exist in theory, not in practice • During the 2005 election campaign, TeleRadio-Moldova claimed to have carried an in-house monitoring of its election coverage. Nevertheless, neither the results nor the design of the study have been made public. • In late 2005, the Broadcasting Coordinating Council announced the creation of its own monitoring center. As of 28 February 2006, the center was not operational and the range of its activities were not identified.
Media research run by international NGOs • European Institute for the Media (currently in Dortmund) – media monitoring missions to Moldova during the 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2001 elections. • IREX – Media Sustainability Index reports in 2001 – 2005. ALL HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED
Media research run by national NGOs • CIVIS (Center for Sociological, Politological and Psychological Analyses) - surveys on diverse media problems, audience surveys, monitoring of media “behavior” during election campaigns, monitoring of TV programs; • SIMON center of the Private Broadcasters’ Association (APEL) –monitoring of the national public broadcaster “Teleradio Moldova” programs in 2005.
IJC Research under the SEENPM auspices “Developing indicators to measure the impact of training activities on media performance.” Products available on the SEENPM Website at http://seenpm.org : • Book: “Impact Indicators: Making a Difference” (2003). • Pilot study in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia (2004).
IJC Research on the national level Qualitative and quantitative research in the field of: • Media coverage of elections; • Media coverage of diversity and multiculturalism; • Media coverage of human trafficking and its prevention; • Implementation of the provisions of the public broadcasting law in the editorial policies of TeleRadio-Moldova; • Other aspects of media legislation; • Media audiences and their preferences; • Journalists’/media profiles; • Media transparency and accountability.
IJC Research on the national level APPROACH • Concept of research developed by the Center, design and data collection carried out by commissioned external experts, analysis by in-house experts; • Both concept and methodology developed by the IJC, data collection and analysis – in-house.
Dissemination of IJC research results: • Press conferences and workshops; • Published reports available for free in print form and the IJC Website at http://ijc.md ; • Bi-annual magazine “Mass Media in Moldova” published by the IJC in English, Romanian and Russian.
Challenges to Moldovan organizations contemplating media research • Donors have but a ‘lukewarm’ interest in research, hence the difficulty to find support for long-term or follow-up projects in this field. • There is an acute need to invest in “capacity building” of local research institutions both in what concerns up-to-date methods and tools, identification of key research areas, as well as the management of research projects. • Information sharing with and experience gathering from organizations/projects/institutions in the region IS A MUST.
Suggested topics for research: • “Public money” advertising – where does it go? • Media distribution systems. • Media concentration. • Media privatization: models and outcomes. • Tabloidization of the media. • Ethical codes – analysis and implementation (good and bad practices). • Foreign investments in the media. • EU integration and/in the media. What does EU mean for the media? • Public preferences/expectations from the media. • Prospects of development of “new media.” • Media as business: what is the profile of successful media in the region today.