Media Monitoring of political coverage in Italy

Since 1994, the OdP has been monitoring (24 hours) political coverage of seven national TV channels: RAI (Rai uno, Rai due, Rai tre), Mediaset (Rete 4, Canale 5, Italia 1) and La7. The monitoring includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of the political subjects, the agenda of the newscasts, a gender analysis. The ongoing project is funded by the Italian Public Service Broadcaster, RAI.

1994 – 2013: Media monitoring of election-related coverage: the OdP monitored over 40 elections in Italy, this includes national elections, referenda and local elections on nationwide and local media outlets. The projects were funded by public and private broadcasters, and by Regional Authorities in the field of Communications (CORECOM).

2010 – 2013: Monitoring of the local media on behalf of Regional Authorities in the field of Communications (CORECOM) to supervise the obligations of political pluralism, protection of minors, commercial advertising in a number of Italian regions, including Lombardia, Liguria, Toscana, Trentino Alto Adige, Marche and Abruzzo.

Democratisation and elections

Electoral Observation Missions: a) Assessment of the electoral process in light of international standards for democratic elections and relevant local legislation; b) Advising on whether or not conditions exist for the holding of democratic elections and make recommendations in the area of electoral reform; c) Analysis of media landscape and monitoring of media coverage; d) Provision of analytical capacity on the political development in relation with the election process; e) Preparation of observation manuals and handbooks; f) Election and media law analysis; g) Preparation of Press Releases and Press Conferences; h) Spokesperson activities.

Electoral technical assistance and capacity building projects: strengthening independent electoral management bodies as institutions of democratic governance, with emphasis on their sustainability and long-term capacity development; fostering electoral systems and other aspects of democratic governance to enhance democratic participation; enhancing public awareness on democratic and participatory governance; making information available to people and increasing the influence and involvement of civil society in the electoral process; support to civic society organisations.

Project Cycle management: a) project identification; b) project proposal; c) project evaluation.

Teaching and Researching: a) Preparation of training curricula on Media and Democratisation, Elections and Human Rights; b) Archives Researching; c) Students’ tutoring; d) Organising international conferences and training courses.

Technical assistance and capacity building

Since 1997, the OdP and its individual experts have been carrying out projects related to media development, democracy and elections:

2013: Technical assistance on media monitoring as part of the Project to Support the Credibility and Transparency of the Elections in Madagascar (PACTE), funded by the EU. The OdP is supervising a 5 months Media Monitoring Unit ahead of the elections.

2013: Gender and media representation in Congo (DRC). The OdP assisted local partners (Union Congolaise des Femmes des Média and Observatoire des Média Congolais, un des organes d’autorégulation de la profession) to run a media monitoring on the representation of women. The project was promoted by France Expertise Internationale

2012: on behalf of International Idea, technical assistance to the Libyan Election Commission to support their media-related activities.

2011 – 2012: Media Support in Tunisia. The project foresaw the technical assistance of the OdP to Tunisian authorities in charge of media supervision during the elections of October 2011. The OdP is assisting national counterparts in media regulation, media monitoring and public outreach. The project was financed by the European Union.

2010 – 2011: Media and Elections in Sudan. The project foresaw a media monitoring project that ran in parallel with media and journalism training on election reporting. The project was financed by the UNDP.

2004 – 2011: media advising for the Media Cooperation Programme – Denmark, the Arab World & Iran. The objective of the project is to monitor media coverage of a broad range of issues (elections, gender, human rights) in the region and actively engage civil society and media professionals in debate on how to secure fair and balanced coverage. The OdP held training workshop in Tunisia, Lebanon and Bahrain and provided technical assistance to a wide panel of NGO members in designing and implementing media-monitoring programmes. The OdP was also in charge of designing the methodology for a variety of media monitoring projects, including those carried out in Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq.

2010: technical assistance to the Palestinian Central Election Commission on behalf of IFES. The project aimed at providing technical assistance on media monitoring to the Central Election Commission. Main activities included: developing a strategy for proposal completion, to include definition of critical inputs from the IFES West Bank Team; designing the structure of the proposal in a way that ensures logical flow of ideas; determining timelines for project activities; developing cost estimates for project activities; ensuring that the project reflect local context in Palestinian Territories; assist IFES in bidding procedures for outsourcing of media monitoring unit; defining staff recruitment and training, technical set-up and management requirement; assist the CEC in evaluation and reporting on the performances of the media and the media situation as well as in evaluating the process in its final report; providing advisory services to the CEC.

2010: capacity building on election coverage for journalists and civic society in Ethiopia on behalf of ERIS. Main activities included: the provision of statistical and narrative analysis of media’s coverage of the candidates and political parties during the electoral period; the provision of statistical and narrative analysis of the impact and coverage of election related issues as part of DFID’s election project monitoring; briefings and training on media regulation for the media supervisory body – the Electronic Broadcasting Authority (EBA); training 12 national media monitors; a full explanation of the media monitoring to the media; organisation and management of the media monitoring unit constituted within the Faculty of Mass Media Studies of the Addis Ababa University; reporting; carrying out ad hoc meetings, informal roundtable events and general mechanisms to enhance confidence amongst stakeholders (media supervisory bodies, trade unions of journalists, universities, etc.)

2009: technical assistance to the Supervisory Commission on Election Campaigns (SCEC) in Lebanon in relation to their media-related activities. The project was funded by the European Commission and implemented by Transtec. Main activities included: assisting the SCEC, constituted   within the Ministry of Interior, in designing a methodological framework for monitoring the media and assessing its compliance with the law during the 2009 parliamentary elections; assisting the SCEC in establishing a media monitoring unit, including both staff recruitment and training, technical set-up and management; assisting the SCEC in assessing and reporting on the performance of the media and the media situation as well as in evaluating the process in its final report; providing advisory services to the SCEC, covering a range of activities so as to allow the SCEC fulfil its terms of reference under the revised national legal framework pertaining to Electoral Media and Advertising.

2009 -2010: capacity building for journalists in Egypt, on behalf of IFES. The main activities included developing and presenting a series of toolkits and papers regarding the coverage of elections by the media, including a review of the practices of other countries; providing inputs into the drafting of the Media Code of Conduct by providing expert advice and comparative models from around the world; developing a Handbook of Best Practices in coordination with The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and IFES.

2010: on behalf of IFES, technical assistance in Afghanistan to the Electoral Media Commission of Afghanistan. Main activities included: : decision-making process related to adjudication of cases; media monitoring coordination, advising on methodology and reporting; establishing cooperation with media organisations; ensuring visibility, informing public and external relations; reporting.

2010: on behalf of ERIS, management of a project of media monitoring and training for community radios in Ivory Coast. Main activities included: management of the overall project; training on media monitoring for civic society organisations; technical assistance to the media monitoring project; coordination with the network of partnered community radios aimed at elaborating a strategy of intervention; organisation of a training covering rules and best practices for media coverage of the elections in post-conflict environments.

2010: on behalf of ERIS, capacity building for civic society organisations during the election process in Ivory Coast. Main activities included: analysis of the media landscape; legal analysis of the normative frame for election coverage; drafting a Handbook on the observation of community radios during the election campaign; preparation of the coding forms for national election observers and related training

2009: Promoting Quality coverage of Darfur Crisis. The project aimed at analysing the way the conflict was portrayed by Egyptian and Sudanese media and to promote quality standards for reporting. The project included a number of activities: training of media monitors, support to the set up and management of the media monitoring unit, analysis of media coverage, preparation of a final report containing data, main findings, analysis and assessment of the results and recommendations; a final conference in Jordan to present and discuss the report with stakeholders.

2007: on behalf of MEMONET/DANIDA/DFID, capacity building in Uganda to support the development of the media sector and media professionals. Main activities included: training to national media analysts on media monitoring; supervision of data analysis and reporting.

2009: under the supervision of the UNDP Elect Department of Public Outreach, technical assistance in Afghanistan to the Electoral Media Commission of Afghanistan. Main activities included: setting up and coordination of a media monitoring unit on behalf of the Independent Election Commission; advising the Electoral Media Commission on media regulation during the elections and treatment of complaint; identification of key media outlet and key topic of the campaign; reporting.

2008: technical assistance to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Ivory Coast. Activities included: support to the elaboration of public outreach strategies, training for journalists of community radios and voter education campaigns on the election process.

2006: capacity building to the NGO Participación Ciudadana in Ecuador in the frame of NEEDS Project. The OdP provided technical and theoretical support to the media monitoring project carried out by Participación Ciudadana on occasion of 2006 presidential elections.

2002: support to the project of training for local administrator in Cambodia, in liaison with the UNDP. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs founded the project and the main activities included the organisations and development of a training framework for the province of Sihanouk Ville.

1998: parliamentary elections in Slovak Republic. On behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs OdP experts organised a media monitoring exercise within the frame of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE election observation mission.

1998: parliamentary elections in FRY-Montenegro Republic. On behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs OdP experts organised a media monitoring exercise within the frame of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE election observation mission.

1997: presidential elections in FRY Republic. On behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs OdP experts organised a media monitoring exercise within the frame of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE election observation mission.

1997: parliamentary elections in Albanian Republic. OdP experts organised a media monitoring exercise to observe election coverage. The results were published in the Council of Europe’s final report on the situation of Albanian media.

Election observation

Since 1997, the OdP has provided individual experts for the staff of international election observation/assessment/experts missions of the OSCE, the European Commission, ECOWAS and Carter Centre. At present the OdP has covered more than 100 election observation missions all over the world.

List of countries:

Year Organisation Country Position
2013, 2011, 2005, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1998 OSCE/ODHIR Albania Media Analyst, Gender Expert
2012, 2010, 2008, 2006 OSCE/ODHIR United States Election Expert
2013 OSCE/ODHIR Czech Republic Media Analyst
2012 European Union Algeria Media Analyst
2012 Carter Centre Egypt Media Analyst
2012 OSCE/ODHIR Armenia Media Analyst
2012, 2008, 2003, 2000 OSCE/ODHIR Serbia Media Analyst
2012 OSCE/ODHIR Turkmenistan Election Expert
2011 European Union Gambia Political Expert
2011, 2002 European Union Peru Media Analyst
2010, 2006, 2002 OSCE/ODHIR Latvia Media Analyst
2010, 2007, 2000 OSCE/ODHIR Kyrgyzstan Media Analyst
2010 European Union Zimbabwe Desk Research
2009 OSCE/ODHIR Iceland Election Expert
2009 OSCE/ODHIR Romania Media Analyst
2009 OSCE/ODHIR Norway Election Expert
2009 European Union Ghana Media Analyst
2009 European Union Lebanon Media Analyst
2009 European Union Ecuador Media Analyst
2009 European Union Bolivia Media Analyst
2008 OSCE/ODIHR Spain Election Expert
2008 European Union Bhutan Media Analyst
2008 European Union Pakistan Media Analyst
2007, 2004, 1999 OSCE/ODIHR Uzbekistan Media Analyst
2007 OSCE/ODIHR Croatia Media Analyst
2007 OSCE/ODIHR Switzerland Election Expert
2007 OSCE/ODIHR France Media Analyst
2007 OSCE/ODIHR Turkey Media Analyst
2007 OSCE/ODIHR Belgium Election Expert
2006 European Union Venezuela Media Analyst
2006, 2002 European Union Madagascar Media Analyst
2006 OSCE/ODIHR Tajikistan Media Analyst
2006 European Union Yemen Media Analyst
2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2000 OSCE/ODIHR Macedonia (FYROM) Media Analyst
2006 European Union Haiti Media Analyst
2006, 2005 European Union West Bank and Gaza Media Analyst
2005, 2004 European Union Sri Lanka Media Analyst, Press Officer
2005 European Union Guinea Bissau Media Analyst
2005 European Union Burundi Media Analyst
2005 United Nations Afghanistan Media Analyst
2005 OSCE/ODIHR Moldavia Media Analyst
2005 ECOWAS Togo Election Expert
2004, 2003 European Union Mozambique Media Analyst
2004, 2002 OSCE/ODIHR Bosnia Herzegovina Media Analyst
2004, 1999 OSCE/ODIHR Kazakhstan Media Analyst
2004, 2003, 1999 OSCE/ODIHR Georgia Media Analyst
2003 European Union Rwanda Media Analyst
2003, 2002, 2000 OSCE/ODHIR Montenegro Media Analyst
2003 European Union Nigeria Press officer
2003 European Union Kenya Media Analyst
2002 OSCE/ODHIR Slovakia Media Analyst
2002, 2001 Council of Europe Kosovo Media Analyst
2002 European Union Congo Brazzaville Media Analyst, Press Officer
2002 European Union Cambodia Short Term Observer
2001, 1998 European Union Cambodia Media Analyst
2001 OSCE/ODHIR Bulgaria Media Analyst
2001 OSCE/ODHIR Belarus Media Analyst
2000 OSCE/ODHIR Azerbaijan Media Analyst
2000 OSCE Kosovo Election Supervisor
2000 OSCE Bosnia Herzegovina Election Supervisor
2000 OSCE/ODHIR Serbia Short Term Observer
2000 Italian MFA Peru Deputy Head of Mission
1999 European Union – UNDP Indonesia Media Analyst
1997 OSCE/ODHIR Serbia Short Term Observer

 

Training, seminars and conferences

2013: the OdP is a member of the consortium running the EODS (Election Observation and Democratic Support) project, commenced by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission (EC). The project aims at consolidating methodology of EU Election Observation Missions, training EU observers at all levels, strengthening the capacity of regional organisations involved in election observation.

2013: The OdP delivered the training session Media Monitoring in the Electoral Process in the Advanced Diploma on Effective Electoral Assistance organised by ISPI (Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale).

2011: training of civic society organisations of the MENA Region on behalf of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE. Main tasks included preparing relevant presentations and case studies as foreseen in the training programme and curriculum; delivering these presentations and case studies in an interactive manner; holding an evaluation of the training; prepare a short report on ways to improve the content, format and delivery of the training.

2011: experts of the OdP attended as discussants the workshop on media monitoring in OSCE/ODIHR observation missions and were in charge of preparing a checklist for media analysts in EOMs.

2010: training in the course on “International Best Practices and Principle for Media Coverage of Politics in Egypt”, on behalf of IFES. Main tasks included training participants on the relevant topics; organising and managing a related workshop; reporting and summarising the main outputs of the workshop.

2010: facilitating the Workshop “Supervisory Commission on Electoral Campaign (SCEC), the experience in 2009 Parliamentary elections in Lebanon, building consensus on the way forward”. Main activities included coordinating and supervising all the interventions and speeches during the workshop; presentation of lesson learnt from 2009 election experience; reporting and summarising the main outputs of the workshop.

2009: in the frame of Network for Enhanced Electoral and Democratic Support (NEEDS) Project, training to Domestic Observers Groups of MENA Region in relation to: media monitoring of election coverage, media relations and public outreach and voter education.

2009: in the frame of the NEEDS Project, two OdP experts assisted the project training coordinator in establishing the training methodology for the “Training course in media monitoring”. They were also in charge of drafting the programme and the contents for the course as well as carrying out the actual training.

2008: in the frame of NEEDS Project, training to Domestic Observers Groups of the Western Africa Region in relation to: media monitoring of election coverage, media relations and public outreach and voter education.

2001 – 2011: member of the consortium managing the project Eurosservatori. The project was financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and aimed at training Italian election observers.

2001 – 2007: member of the consortium managing NEEDS Project. The project funded by the European Commission, designed to enhance the quality and capacity of European Union Election Observation Missions (EUEOMs) and support domestic observer organisations around the world. The OdP was responsible for: participating in the elaboration of the working and training plan of the project; designing and undertaking the training related to media analysis and public outreach in the EUEOMs; supporting the organisations of domestic observers in their media-related activities.

Since 2001: funding member of the Forum on International Justice and Human Rights of the University of Pavia – Interdepartmental Centre on studies and research in social philosophy.

2006, 2001: seminars for the Summer School of the Institute for International Politics Studies (ISPI) on media analysis within international election observation.

2005: training project targeting young journalists in Kosovo in cooperation with the NGO “Trentino con il Kosovo”. The main focus of the training was on pluralism and diversity in media coverage.

2005: on behalf of the Scuola Sant’Anna, training for the Iraqi Central Election Commission on media regulation during the election campaign.

2004: on behalf of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, designing of the training module for national media monitors in the OSCE Participating States.

2003: training for Cambodian state-media journalists. Funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project focused on media coverage of the election campaign as well as media and democracy.

1998 – 2011: seminars for the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – University of Pisa on media analysis within international election observation.

Relevant analysis and publications

2013: Study on Area J of the Beijing Platform. Action: Women and the Media in the European Union (27 EU countries and Croatia) for the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)

2012: Manuela Malchiodi (ed.), L’espressione liberata? La difficile transizione dei media in Tunisia (Freeing expression? The difficult transition of the media in Tunisia), Osservatorio di Pavia, Pavia (2012)

2006 – 2012: La rappresentazione mediatica delle crisi umanitarie in Rapporto Annuale di Medici Senza Frontiere. Le crisi umanitarie dimenticate dai media (Media coverage of humanitarian crisis in Doctors Without Borders Report Annual Report– The forgotten humanitarian crisis) . Marsilio Editori, Venezia.

2011: Watch the Media, Media in South Sudan between Elections and Referendum. Media Support as Part of Long Term Democratisation, with Brigitte Sins, International Media Support, Copenhagen 2011.

2011: review of the report on Media Monitoring of Women Coverage during Elections, on behalf of the Organisation of the American States.

2011: on behalf of Democracy Reporting International, assessment of the media provisions of the draft Constitution of Egypt.

2011: Election Coverage in Sudan, Final report of 2011 Referendum, International Media Support, Copenhagen

2011: Election Coverage in Sudan, Final report of 2010 General Elections, International Media Support, Copenhagen 2011.

2009 -2010: on behalf of IFES and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, paper on “Media and Elections: regulatory approaches” concerning election coverage and including a review of the practices of other countries. The project also foresaw the development of a Handbook concerning self-regulation for election coverage.

2008: on behalf of IFES Lebanon, paper addressing best practices for media regulation “Media freedom versus media regulation: the role of oversight bodies in balancing interests”.

2008: on behalf of the OSCE Election Project Coordinator in Ukraine, analysis of the Ukrainian regulation for media coverage of elections; drafting a research paper on international standards for election coverage; drafting an analytical note on international standards on election coverage for parliamentarians and lawmakers (in cooperation with Michael Meyer-Resende)

2008: on behalf of Democracy Reporting International, assessment of the media section of the draft election law of Lebanon.

2008: on behalf of IFES Egypt, paper addressing both the role of the media as an institution of electoral oversight from an analytical point of view and the role of media in covering electoral campaign including best practices from a practical point of view.

2007: “Democracy and the Media in Palestine” (with David Ward) in N. Sakr (ed.) Arab Media and Political Renewal. Community, Legitimacy and Public Life, (London 2007)

2007: COMPOL – Videopolitica, Le elezioni amministrative 2007 nell’agenda dei principali telegiornali nazionali di RAI e Mediaset (Videopolitics. 2007 local elections and the news agenda of RAI and Mediaset)

COMPOL – Videopolitica, Copertura e notiziabilità delle primarie del partito Democratico: l’attenzione all’evento nei principali telegiornali di RAI e Mediaset (Videopolitics, coverage and newsworthiness of Democratic Party primaries: attention for the event in RAI and Mediaset channels).

2006: Legal Analysis for the Media in EU Election Observation Missions: international standards and best practices – paper presented within the seminar organised by NEEDS Project, Pavia.

2006: Methodological approaches to Media monitoring: what to observe and how – paper presented within the seminar organised by NEEDS Project, Pavia.

2006: EJO WORKSHOP – MEDIA JOURNALISM IN THE ATTENTION CYCLE: PROBLEMS, PERSPECTIVES, VISIONS, Communications Research: Can Media Journalists in Italy do without it?

2006: Pre Conditions for Democratic Elections: media monitoring as a tool to enhance transparency and trust, paper prepared for the Council of Europe – Venice Commission, Bucharest

2006: Le campagne elettorali dei paesi in via di democratizzazione: metodologie di osservazione dei media (Election campaigns in developing countries: methods for media observation) . Comunicazione e Crisi, media, conflitti e società in R. Davarese (ed.).

2005: US Presidential Elections: a lexical analysis of the debates between Bush and Kerry, “Comunicazione Politica”, January 2005.

2003: on behalf of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, guidelines for media analysis in election observation missions.

2002: on behalf of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, section on Media and Gender Coverage for the ODIHR’s Handbook on Women’s Participation in Election Processes.

2002: La réception de la télévision italienne en Tunisie: un nouveau regard sur l’autre et sur soi, in IRMC, Médias et technologies de communication au Maghreb et en Méditerranée. Mondialisation, redéploiements et arts de faire, Actes du Séminaire, Tunis, 6-7 Octobre 2000, Juin 2002, pp. 145-158

2000: on behalf of the European Institute for the Media, paper addressing the role of the media in covering elections and the challenges to freedom of expression in Belarus

2000: on behalf of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, assessment of the legal framework regulating media in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.