AGCOM: One confrontation between two does not respect equal opportunities
“The programming of a single television confrontation between two political subjects only, as well as the communicative activities related to it, do not comply with the principles of equal treatment and impartiality of information, since they can be determined in the hands of the participants. In the confrontation, an undue electoral advantage over others.” This was established by Agcom in a majority decision following reports about the Letta-Meloni confrontation at Porta a Porta, which calls on all broadcasters to strictly respect equal treatment of political topics in in-depth programming.
In the face of various reports received regarding the announced organization of the Porta a Porta broadcast scheduled for September 22, including the report of the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee Ray Parachini, it adopted the resolution by a majority vote, with a vote against. Written by Commissioner Jyumi, with whom she called on national television and radio broadcasters to strictly respect the equal treatment of political topics in in-depth programming related to the election campaign for the upcoming elections on September 25.
“In order to ensure the application of this principle – clarifies the authority -, broadcasters must take into account that the current election law provides for a mixed system (majority and proportionality) which, on the one hand, for a period of five-eighths, provides for ‘the allocation of seats in multiple electoral districts’. Members based on a proportional criterion based on list scrutiny, and on the other hand the same lists are allowed to appear (or not appear) in the coalition to compete for the allocation of the remaining three-eighths of seats in single-member constituencies on the basis of a majority system.This law also does not provide for the designation of a leader coalition (while instead requiring that lists refer to the relative political leader), it does not necessarily presume that the outcome of elections is determined by a comparison between two lists or between two coalitions.
“Therefore, the interpretation of the rules of parity must necessarily correspond to this approach, as expressly provided by law, and in this sense the precedents of the authority relating to the last electoral round – continues Agcom -. With regard to the provisions of the authority’s decision on the subject of confrontation between political forces, the programming of A single television confrontation between two political subjects only, as well as communicative activities related to it, are not in line with the principles of equal treatment and information neutrality, and the ability to determine, for the subjects participating in the discussion, an undue electoral advantage over others.Moreover, in the light of the indicated legislative and regulatory framework To the above, defining ways of possible comparisons among politicians the political advocates themselves cannot be left, falling, this definition, in the editorial responsibility of the directors in charge of the programmes.”
Therefore, in light of the second phase of the electoral campaign and in order to provide information to all interested parties, the commission decided to extend an invitation to all national television and radio broadcasters, within the in-depth media programs in which politicians are. The confrontations are conceived, consistent with their editorial independence, to ensure strict and effective compliance with the conditions of equal treatment, in order to ensure the full and fair representation of the electorate of the various political proposals in view of the vote.
The authority is committed to the editorial independence of individual broadcasters, and it supervises television and radio programs, according to its powers, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the principles of equal treatment and correct information.
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