How to Monitor Presidential Candidates’ Speaking Time

Since March 28, the law has required TV and radio channels and antennas to distribute the floor to each candidate equally. Two sites allow you to view the time allocated to policies.

A few days before the first round of the presidential election, can we say that all candidates are entitled to the same visibility in the media? The lack of speaking time is regularly criticized by certain parties during each election period, but there are tools to ensure that there is no injustice.

What the law says ? Since January 1, the channels and antennas must respect the fairness of the speaking times of the candidates and their supporters, according to their representativeness and their involvement in the campaign (presence on social networks, organization of meetings, travel of ground…). From March 28, the rules change, the political weight of the candidates no longer comes into play. The duration of the interventions, like the broadcast times, must be the same for everyone.

It is up to the CSA (which has become Arcom since January 1, 2022) to quantify the duration of intervention by politicians in the campaign on TV and radio sets. It is possible to monitor the share granted to each candidate in percentage on the Arcom site from this link.

Then click on ” consult the Arcom data to access the table of channels and antennas (TF1, BFM-TV, Europe 1, etc.). Note that the regulatory authority shares the count calculated between January 1 and March 27 only. Impossible for the moment to know the time distributed in real time, therefore.

Contacted by the editorial staff, Arcom specifies that ” it is the publishers who provide their speaking time counts. We then proceed to coring [échantillons, ndlr] to verify the relevance of these counts “. Understand that the administration digs into the reports and then reviews them to determine if they are not skewed. The daily Le Monde also reports that Arcom has warned RTL, Europe 1, BFM-TV and RMC Découverte, on March 31, for not having respected the rules of fairness between the candidates.

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An artificial intelligence that detects interventions in real time

another website, www.Elections-Tracker.fr, resulting from a private initiative, publishes an estimate of the speaking time in real time thanks to an AI (artificial intelligence) developed in-house by the company Pluralisme. The platform only takes two hours to update the share granted to each candidate.

This is a beta version that will be improved based on user feedback. We analyze the feed of 15 TV channels subject to pluralism and then apply facial recognition and voice recognition AI algorithms to detect candidates’ speeches “, says Fabrizio Papa Techera, Chairman of the Management Board of Lex Base, co-founder of the company with Magic Lemp.

How to Monitor Presidential Candidates' Speaking Time
The site indicates the duration of political intervention of each candidate. Source: Election Tracker

The site goes further since it also specifies the time granted to each theme (defence, ecology, culture, etc.) for each candidate. Nevertheless, we can see some irregularities, especially with regard to Emmanuel Macron. A distinction must in fact be made between when the current President of the Republic exercises his sovereign powers – by intervening for example on matters of defense – and when he is campaigning. The AI ​​developed by the company does not make this difference and the time given to Emmanuel Macron is therefore much higher than the other candidates.

We assume the choice of a 100% automatic solution, even if it can sometimes prove to be less precise than a manual solution: tomorrow, we will have to understand pluralism on all videos published on YouTube, Twitch or social networks, and there, only an automatic solution can cover such a perimeter », adds Fabrizio Papa Techera.

Apart from the case of Emmanuel Macron, we see on Election Tracker that the time granted to each candidate is still far from equal. Philippe Poutou or Jean Lassalle are far behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Marine Le Pen. The chains and antennas have until April 9 to restore the balance.

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Ksiamon

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How to Monitor Presidential Candidates’ Speaking Time


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