In 2010, MEMO 98, in cooperation with the Oxford Brookes University/Oxford Media Research, prepared a media monitoring methodology titled Monitoring Moldovan Broadcasters: Methods and Techniques to be used by the Moldovan media regulator, the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual (CCA). The drafting of the methodology and consequent training delivered by MEMO 98 and the Oxford Media Research were supported by the Council of Europe. In 2018, the Council of Europe asked MEMO 98 to revise the document to ensure that it corresponds to the most recent situation with the media in Moldova. The intention of the revised methodology was to help the CCA to enhance its existing media monitoring capacity to observe how license holders fulfill their obligations. The monitoring gives the regulator effective tools for investigating issues related to media coverage. The revised draft of the methodology will be adopted by the CCA and placed on its website. In addition, MEMO 98 conducted training to ensure a proper and consistent application of the revised methodology.
Ivan Godarsky and Rasto Kuzel of MEMO 98 carried out the training which took place from 10 – 14 September 2018. Moreover, prior to the workshop, Rasťo Kužel took part in two-day assessment visit in Moldova on 26-27 March 2018, during which he met the relevant representatives of the Coordinating Council of the Audiovisual (CCA), local independent experts and discussed the CCA’s needs for revising and updating the existing CCA's monitoring methodology in line with new media standards.
Given the overall project’s objectives in general and the more concrete objectives (expectations) stated by the participants at the first introductory session in particular, the trainers modified the original agenda to make the necessary introduction to various media monitoring methodological approaches, paying special attention to qualitative methods of media monitoring, fair allocation of airtime to political contestants, advertising, disinformation and propaganda, hate speech, social issues, as well as to gender monitoring. In addition, there were numerous practical exercises focusing on news programs.
The trainers applied a mixture of informative, creative and personality-building work forms, as well as a number of visual elements, to ensure that all those who participate will be involved (keeping in mind that different people have different thinking styles, with some people learning best through visual media, others remembering more of what they hear and others through physical or emotional feelings).
The above-mentioned applied training techniques contributed to the fact that the training was quite interactive and included good engagement by trainees in virtually all covered topics. In addition, the trainer utilized some energizers as well as other techniques such as brainstorm, chalk & talk, small group work, and report back.
The general structure of the training was as follows:
- Introduction to media monitoring – purposes and basic principles
- Review of Moldovan Media Landscape ahead of elections
- Quantitative and Qualitative methodologies of media monitoring
- Monitoring diversity and pluralism in political and electoral coverage (fair allocation of airtime)
- Practical exercises focusing on monitoring diversity and pluralism in political and electoral coverage
- Advantage of incumbency
- Disinformation and propaganda