Freedom of expression and freedom of the media are essential to any democratic process, and the assessment of media coverage of election campaigns is a fundamental part of election observation methodology. This publication provides a succinct explanation of the media-monitoring methodology used by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in its election observation activities.
This handbook includes a set of guidelines for coverage of election campaigns by public and private media outlets, particularly broadcast and print but also touching upon those related to the Internet and other new media. The aim is not to provide a detailed catalogue of these issues but to highlight certain common principles that are important for international observers when assessing an electoral process from the point of view of the media.
The final part of this publication includes some basic information on technical aspects of media monitoring, explaining the specific role of the media analyst in election observation missions (EOM). It is not intended, however, as a technical manual detailing every aspect of that work.