The months-long trend of Serbia’s ruling parties’ dominant presence in primetime news continued through last month, coupled with an increase in negative reports on the opposition, the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) said on Wednesday.
CRTA’s study covered prime time news on the TV channels with national frequencies: state RTS, private Pink, Prva, Happy and B92.
President Aleksandar Vucic topped the list of the most present politicians, followed by Dragan Djilas, the opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) leader.
He got 40 percent of a total air time for all politicians and had 29 live addresses during 31 days, most frequently in the last six months.
Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Finance Minister Sinisa Mali and Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin were presented neutrally or positively, while Djilas received almost 90 percent of negative reports.
The opposition parties were given 13 percent of the programme, including political players, an increase from February when they were present in four percent. Still, the regime’s political opponents were pictured in the negative context 72 percent of the time.
The authorities got 87 percent of the news programmes’ airtime, neutrally 66 percent and positively 33 percent, while the tone was negative in one per cent.
Regardless of his presence in central news bulletins, in March Aleksandar Vucic addressed citizens live on average every day, i.e. 29 times in 31 days, the highest number in the last six months. CRTA also noted that Aleksandar Vucic was a guest of television programmes three times in March, lasting from 1 to 2.5 hours, and that he addressed the nation live a further 26 times through broadcasts lasting an average of 30 minutes each.
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