On December 27, 2012, the National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR) released the methodology on monitoring the ensuring of equal conditions for candidates to RA President by the Armenian TV and radio companies during the official electoral campaign (January 21 – February 16, 2013). The NCTR conducts the monitoring in compliance with the RA Electoral Code. The results of the monitoring and NCTR conclusions are published and presented to the Central Electoral Commission on the 10th and 20th days of the official campaign (e.g., on January 30 and February 9, 2013), as well as two days before the announcement of the official ballot results (February 23, 2013).
The methodology particularly presumes scanning of the TV and radio programs, studying the information, provided by the broadcasters or received from the presidential candidates, state bodies, public and international organizations, as well as analyzing the media materials reporting on violations of the electoral legislation by the broadcasters.
During the monitoring of paid and free airtime, allocated to presidential candidates for pre-election promotion, NCTR will asses: the invariability of tariffs, announced by broadcasters for political advertising throughout the whole official campaign; the broadcasters’ compliance with the non-discrimination principle, when allocating air and time for broadcasting promotional materials; the lawfulness of arguments, provided for the denial of airtime for broadcasting promotional materials.
NCTR will also track the broadcasters’ compliance with other legislative provisions:
– the ban imposed on employees of TV and radio companies, registered as presidential candidates, to cover the electoral campaign or host any program (it is to be noted that one of the eight presidential candidates is Andrias Ghukasian, the Director of Radio “Hay”, Ed. Note);
– the obligation of unbiased and factual reporting on promotional events, as well as the requirement to respect the principles of equality and non-discrimination towards all the candidates on all news and current affair programs;
– respect the provisions of Article 22 of RA Electoral Code, while reporting on the activities of candidates, who hold political, discretionary, civil offices. The Article obliges these candidates not to use the office to their advantage;
– the providing of equal conditions for airtime allotment to all presidential candidates;
– the ensuring of journalistic impartiality on programs hosting any presidential candidate, or his/her representative;
– the ban on any presence of promotional elements (reference to candidates, their activities, pre-election platforms, calls on voting “for” or “against”, etc.), as well as demonstration of the candidates’ slogans on programs not covering the elections (films, video clips, audio tapes, commercial advertising, etc.);
– the compliance with legislative requirements while publishing/releasing survey results on the candidates’ ratings, including compliance with the ban on releasing the survey results before the closure of electoral precincts;
– the compliance with the ban on broadcasting any promotional material on the ballot day and the day preceding it;
The full version of the NCTR monitoring methodology is available in Armenian at http://www.tvradio.am/?page_id=3743.