TV News Stations’ Behaviour in the 2014 Presidential Campaign in Romania

Constantin TROFIN


Romania has the largest number of news TV stations in Europe, reported to population. Their role is not about making money, but influence. Therefore, their obvious political links and interests become naturally. News TV stations are strongly polarized and that was probably best observed during the presidential campaign of 2014, when big TV companies were ignored by candidates. The battle took place in the small, unprepared talkshow studios of news stations. Surprisingly, the public did not reject this polarisation. It seems that the public, polarized themselves and lacking the exercise of a critical perception of media, “aligned” themselves behind televisions, searching for their comfort zone and reassuring their political opinions. With a National Council of Audio and Visual (CNA) deliberately put out of business, the door had been open wide for ethic misconduct, which guaranteed ratings, so there were few arguments left for ethics.
The paper is a case study on the 2014 Presidential elections and it focuses on the reasons for which news stations were preferred by campaign staffs and on the above mentioned stations behaviour and performance during this non typical campaign, on how news TV stations confiscated the political debate space, diverting from their primary informative role and assuming the toxic role of influence factor.

Keywords: Klaus Iohannis, misconduct, news TV station, Presidential debate, ratings, Victor Ponta, visual approach