In the election campaign ‘2013 media did not contribute to informed citizen’s voting

That was among the main conclusions from the round table for presenting the results from the researches on media coverage of elections ‘2013, which the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” and the Centre for Liberal Strategies did. The event took place on 20 January 2014 in Sofia. Thirty journalists and representatives of different organizations working in the field discussed the role of media for increasing citizen’s participation and the importance of media independence and objectivity in the election campaigns.

Assoc Prof. Maria Neikova, PhD, from the Sofia University presented the results from a content analysis on how media informed the audience on five preselected topics – Belene Nuclear Power Plant, income taxation, electricity distribution companies, in-door smoking ban, and demands for resignation of Members of Parliament. Georgi Ganev, PhD, from the Centre for Liberal Strategies presented the policy paper on some aspects of media coverage of elections ‘2013 and analyzed the experience from the application of Glasovoditel and Glasosleditel online tools for elections ‘2013.

Among the main topics of the discussion were the role of Internet based media and especially blogs, and the need for deeper research on how different types of media influence the audience and why they do not contribute to the development of informed decision making on different topic but slide down through sensations.

The round table is part of the project “The Role of Media in Increasing Civic Participation in Public Life”, supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy and implemented by the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” and the Centre for Liberal Strategies.