monitoring elections

Election Campaign Monitoring: Public Virtues, Secret Vices

The Novi Sad School of Journalism conducted monitoring of media coverage of this year’s elections, thus maintaining a 25-year tradition. Over the past two and a half decades, the research team at the Novi Sad School of Journalism has employed various methodological approaches, aiming to comprehensively analyze the discourse in newspapers, radio, television, portals, and social networks during the pre-election campaign.

On December 17, 2023, parliamentary and provincial elections, along with numerous local elections, including Belgrade, took place.

During this election cycle, monitoring occurred on two levels. The first involved the analysis of the discourse in the so-called “headline,” i.e., prominent news at the beginning of central news broadcasts on four televisions (RTS, RTV, Pink, and N1). The second level was partially automated and supported by online monitoring services such as NewsWhip and BuzzSumo. This approach enabled the systematic monitoring of coverage on 20 news portals from Serbia and helped determine the most widely shared news on social networks during the pre-election period.

By monitoring the media discourse on different platforms, a foundation is established for analyzing the influence of media and social networks on the formation of public opinion and political views. This process allows the identification of dominant themes, recognition of potential media biases, and understanding the dynamics of information dissemination in the online sphere. In this light, the monitoring conducted by the Novi Sad School of Journalism can serve as one of the instruments for maintaining transparency, ensuring the integrity of the electoral process, and promoting the active participation of citizens in democratic dialogue, making it valuable for educational purposes.

The analysis is available HERE.