The Andalusian Audiovisual Council (CAA) tugs at the autonomous channel, Canal Sur, in its latest report for the coverage of this coronavirus crisis, in which it has received multiple complaints about the lack of impartiality and objectivity in various practices not recommended by its code of ethics. The worst stop of the chain and to which reference is made is the presenter Mariló Montero, accused of abusing “the bias and editorial tendency in her interventions and questions in the news.”
The study has been prepared to respond to the large number of Andalusians who denounce the Office of Defense of the Hearing lack of pluralism and information neutrality of the autonomous public chain.
There are two branches present in said study, as reported The Voice of the South: the quantitative and the qualitative.
In the first, to reach the final conclusions, The CAA has studied 6,929 interventions by different actors in 210 informational programs (not just newscasts) between March 14 and April 30. The results, in this aspect, are correct: the data show a balance in the interventions of the different political actors grouped by party, thus respecting the principle of political pluralism. The proof is that PP and Cs cover 52% of the time of the speaking turns.
It has also been proven that the coronavirus health crisis accounted for 89% of the news broadcast by Channel On, 84% of the time of the news programs of the chain.
For the qualitative report, 10 of these daily news programs have been studied and, of them, Lack of impartiality, plurality of points of view in the account of the facts and little separation between information and opinion have been revealed, in addition to warning about being selective in the information to highlight the positive aspects of the Andalusian government’s management.
The focus on Mariló Montero
The CAA stops at the figure of Mariló Montero, editor and news presenter of Canal Sur radio and television (RTVA): “Although the presenter’s lack of impartiality Channel On It is protected by the freedom to provide the service by the RTVA, as provided in Article 10 of the General Law of Audiovisual Communication and by the exercise of freedom of expression and the right to information recognized by the Spanish Constitution, the CAA considers that it constitutes an inadvisable practice from the point of view of journalistic ethics and that the provider’s own code of ethics has been violated ”.
And, about it, he warns that the journalist “must abstain from commenting on controversial matters, presenting the information without prejudice or subjective bias and maintaining the editorial independence of the channel they represent, avoiding interpretations that may break the principle of editorial independence ”.
Given this, the CAA advises to respect what the RTVA style book marks and, at the same time, the indicators and the methodology to evaluate the informative impartiality of the publicly owned audiovisual media, which is precisely set by the Council.
Especially, the controversy with Mariló Montero comes from analyzing his interview last March 30 to the mayor of Jaén, Julio Millán Muñoz, of the PSOE. The town hall itself submitted the complaint to the CAA, which issued a detailed resolution in this regard.
According to the latter, Montero contacted the mayor before the news to explain that the end of the interview it is none other than “gathering from the councilors of the main capitals how aspects related to the covid-19 crisis are being managed in their fields of action”.
However, the presenter’s questions, included in the resolution, were as follows:
1- In what situation is Jaén in terms of those affected by Covid19?
2- You are one of the most indebted municipalities, you have been monitored by the central government for 9 years. How is this situation affecting you being so indebted and having to face this moment of economic hibernation? (She asks about some liquidity measures requested from the Government of Spain: Do you mean the letter you sent to the Minister? Have you answered her?
3- Pablo Casado was saying that Pedro Sánchez is lying. Do you think that the Prime Minister is lying, that he lied even with the World Bank or when he refers that he always makes decisions regarding specialists?
4- Would you have encouraged the BM’s demonstrations?
5- Have you received the liquidity that the Government of Spain promised for the neediest people that you have in the city?
“Of the five, four are related to the management of the central government and only one of them in a certain way with the work in the management of the pandemic by the City Council, number 2, also linked to a negative factor such as that of the economic situation of the city, implying that the management of the health crisis cannot be as efficient as it should on the part of the City Council. At no time is she asked for concrete measures, nor for operating proposals, nor for work in the essential areas of the Consistory, despite the interviewee’s efforts to fit these issues into the answers she gives to the presenter ”.
That is part of the conclusion that has been reached and that justify the complaints about the presenter, according to the CAA, to which he adds that “some questions increase in informational value, something that conflicts with the objective of a media outlet that it is public, which is to inform and carry out public service work ”.