Romanian opposition gets more TV time than governing coalition

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A recent survey carried out by the National Broadcasting Council of Romania has shown that the largest Romanian opposition party, the Social Democrats, made a greater number of TV appearances than members of the governing Justice and Truth Alliance. However, the politician with the most TV appearances remained the Prime Minister, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu.

The opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) made 350 TV appearances in the past month, followed by the governing Justice and Truth Alliance, with 270 appearances, the Great Romania People's Party, with 59 appearances, the Conservative Party with 36 appearances and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, with 24 appearances.

PSD representatives had the greatest amount of TV appearances on TVR, the state-owned broadcaster, Antena 1, ProTV and Realitatea TV. Prima TV was the only TV network which broadcast more appearances by the Justice and Truth Alliance than the PSD.

President of the Social Democratic Party, and head of opposition, Mircea Geoană, came in second

The most covered politician was the Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, with 73 appearances, trailed by the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Mircea Geoană (53 appearances) and the former Prime Minister, Adrian Năstase (37 appearances). In fourth place was the former President, and current Social Democrat senator, Ion Iliescu, followed by Vasile Ion, the father of Marie-Jeanne Ion, one of the three Romanian journalists kidnapped in Iraq in March. Other featured politicians include Dumitru Dragomir, from the Great Romania People's Party, Nicolae Văcăroiu, from the Social Democrats, and Eugen Nicolaescu, spokesman of the Justice and Truth Alliance.

On the state-owned TVR network, representatives of the opposition had 42% more news coverage than the governing coalition. 33% of this coverage was positive, 9% was negative and the remainder was indifferent. The private station ProTV featured the greatest coverage of the Social Democrats, with 67%, 30% of which was positive.

One important political figure which was left out of the study is Romania's President, Traian Băsescu. The National Broadcasting Council did not monitor Băsescu's appearances because he is not a member of any political party.