Senatorial campaign was least covered on TV; Aquino most covered by TV Patrol World, 24 Oras

Written on March 28, 2010 – 11:47 pm | by mediaandelections |

(For the periods March 1-5 and 8-12, 2010)


The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) monitor of the election coverage of TV Patrol World (ABS-CBN), 24 Oras (GMA-7), and Teledyaryo (NBN-4) from March 1 to 5 and 8 to 12 showed that about three out of every 10 of their news reports were about the elections. The news programs were focused on the presidential campaign and gave little coverage to the vice-presidential, senatorial and party-list campaigns. So fixated on the presidential campaign were all three news programs that there were even instances when the candidates for lower national positions were interviewed in connection with issues in the presidential elections.

Number of reports

24 Oras had the least number of election reports even if it had the most number of news reports in its 10 episodes reviewed. The news program of GMA-7 allotted only 19.7 percent of its telecast to the elections, compared to TV Patrol World’s 31.8 percent and Teledyaryo’s 34.2 percent.

The senatorial campaign was the least covered, with the three news programs having a combined total of 19 reports about it. While Teledyaryo had 15 reports about party-list groups, TV Patrol World and 24 Oras had a combined 10 reports, making the party-list campaign the second least covered. (See Table 1)

Table 1


More than half of the election-related reports were aired by 24 Oras (35 out of 60, or 58.3 percent) and Teledyaryo (35 out of 63, or 55.6 percent) during the first half of the program. TV Patrol World, on the other hand, aired only 30 out of 77 election-related reports (39.0 percent). The three news programs had only six election-related reports as banner or lead story, accounting for a mere 3.0 percent. (See Table 2) of the total reports.

Table 2

Most covered candidates and party-list groups

TV Patrol World and 24 Oras covered presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III (Liberal Party)  most, followed by Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. (Nacionalista Party) and former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro (Lakas-Kampi). (The latter two presidential candidates tied for second in TV Patrol World.)

Teledyaryo, on the other hand, gave the most coverage to Teodoro. Villar and Aquino came in second and third, respectively.

The other seven presidential candidates were not given substantial coverage by the three news programs. Teledyaryo, in fact, did not cover contenders John Carlos de los Reyes (Ang Kapatiran) and Vetellano Acosta (KBL). (See Table 3)

Table 3

Among the vice-presidential candidates, TV Patrol World covered Eduardo “Edu” Manzano (Lakas-Kampi) the most, with the rest getting equal though scant coverage. Manzano and Manual “Mar” Roxas (Liberal Party) were the most covered on 24 Oras. Loren Legarda (Nationalist People’s Coalition), meanwhile, was the most covered vice-presidential candidate on Teledyaryo.

Manzano, Legarda and Roxas got more substantial coverage than the other five vice-presidential candidates from the three news programs. In the case of Teledyaryo, only the three vice presidential candidates became news subjects. (See Table 4)

Table 4

Given that there was little coverage of the senatorial elections, only 33 candidates were used as news subjects by the three news programs. Most of these news subjects were the most well-known. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) lists 61 senatorial candidates vying for the 12 slots in the senatorial elections.

Re-electionist Jinggoy Estrada (PMP) and Rep. Gilbert Remulla (NP) were the most covered candidates for senator. However, the coverage of even these two personalities was mainly on the controversies or issues surrounding their respective presidential candidates (e.g., PMP presidential candidate Joseph Estrada’s being heckled during a campaign rally).

TV Patrol World had the least coverage of senatorial candidates as some of them were mentioned only 16 times in the 10 episodes monitored. Teledyaryo did so 18 times. 24 Oras had the most coverage at 38. (See Table 5)

Table 5

The party-list groups also suffered from scant coverage. 24 Oras, in fact, cited only once a party-list group during the period under review. Teledyaryo, on the other other hand, used as news subject two party-list groups three times. TV Patrol World covered eight party-list groups 12 times.

The three news programs only had as news subjects 10 party-list groups. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has accredited 187 party-list groups.

What coverage of the party list groups there was did not focus on their programs. That 1-Utak was the most covered party-list group had nothing to do with its platform or even its advocacy. The coverage focused on the controversy surrounding its first nominee, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes. The same was true of Ang Galing Pinoy, whose first nominee was said to be presidential son and Rep. Mikey Arroyo. (See Table 6)

Table 6

Election themes

In terms of election themes, 24 Oras focused on personality. Teledyaryo’s coverage was mostly event-oriented as it gave the most coverage on Campaign Conduct (which also happened to be the most covered theme if the data of the three news programs were totaled). TV Patrol World had the most coverage on Other Themes. (See Table 7)

Table 7

Development/Policy issues were the second most covered election-related theme if the numbers of the three news programs were combined. The candidates’ statements or promises as regards solutions to the current power crisis were the most reported development/policy issue, followed by their platform of government and policy pronouncements on other pressing concerns. (See Table 8.)

Table 8

TV Patrol World
’s election-related reports focused more on Other Issues. Among the top issues in this category were celebrity endorsements, the celebrities’ opinions on the elections, the prospects of having foreign observers, and vote-buying. 24 Oras and Teledyaryo had two reports each on how the power crisis could affect the May 10 elections. (See Table 9)

Table 9

Candidates and party-list groups as news sources

Among the presidential candidates, the three news programs’ top news sources were Teodoro, Villar and Aquino. The other candidates were seldom used in the election-related reports during the period in review.

Teodoro proved to be the top news source on TV Patrol World. On the other hand, 24 Oras had as top news sources Aquino and Villar; while Teledyaryo had Teodoro and Villar. (See Table 10)

Table 10

With the exception of Manzano, TV Patrol World did not use any vice-presidential candidate as a news source. Minimal use of the vice-presidential candidates as news sources was also apparent in 24 Oras and Teledyaryo. The latter had only Legarda and Manzano as vice presidential news sources. (See Table 11)

Table 11

Like the vice-presidential candidates, the senatorial candidates were also not that much used as news sources. In fact, 24 Oras only used five candidates while Teledyaryo used seven. TV Patrol World did not use a single senatorial candidate as a news source during the period in review. (See Table 12)

Table 12

As regards party-list groups, 1-Utak was used as a news source but mainly on the choice of Defense Secretary Reyes as its first nominee. Ang Galing Pinoy was also mentioned in the context of Rep. Mikey Arroyo’s being its first nominee. (See Table 13)

Table 13

Backgrounding and slant of election-related reports

Almost seven out of every 10 election-related reports in the three news programs provided background information. This means that the broadcast journalists of TV Patrol, 24 Oras and Teledyaryo exerted enough effort to make their reports understandable to viewers. (See Table 14)

Table 14

The slant of such reports was, for the most part, neutral. Only 20.7 percent of election-related reports were positive and 12.8 percent were negative. (See Table 15)

Table 15

Six presidential candidates got a positive slant in the election-related reports of the three news programs, though Teledyaryo provided the most positive slant in two of them, Teodoro and Villar. 24 Oras gave substantial positive slant to Aquino and Villar. On the other hand, TV Patrol World had very minimal positive slant to Aquino and Teodoro.

The vice-presidential and senatorial candidates received had little positive slant given the little coverage they got from the three news programs. The same case applied to the party-list groups of which only two received a positive slant. (See Table 16)

Table 16

24 Oras
had the most negative slant on presidential candidates Sen. Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan), Sen. Ana Consuelo Madrigal (Independent) and Villar. Teledyaryo had minimal negative slant in its reports on Aquino and Gordon. TV Patrol World, meanwhile, did not have any negative slant in its reports on any of the presidential candidates.

While 24 Oras did not have a negative slant on any vice-presidential candidate and party-list group, TV Patrol World and Teledyaryo had minimal negative slant on two vice presidential candidates (Manzano and Roxas) and one party-list group (1-Utak).

No senatorial candidate suffered from any negative slant, but it had nothing to do with objective reporting but was the result of the scant coverage the senatorial campaign received during the period under review. (See Table 17)

Table 17

Download the report (in Word or PDF).

CMFR Monitor of the News Media Coverage of 2013 Elections

Given the special nature of the 2013 campaign and elections, the media’s role as credible and critical sources of information and analysis during the election season bears watching. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) is monitoring the news media coverage of the 2013 campaign and elections in the context of both the special circumstances in which they were taking place, and the opportunity for improved and meaningful reporting and analysis the exercise offered to the Philippine media. 

CMFR has been monitoring media coverage of Philippine elections since 1992, and in every instance has made recommendations towards the improvement of media coverage. These efforts have not been unrewarded. Changes in media coverage incorporating some of the recommendations of the CMFR monitor in 2004 were evident, for example, in the media coverage of the 2007 elections.

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