TV news covered Presidential election most; party list, senatorial campaign least

The CMFR Monitor of Media Coverage of the 2010 Elections
Broadcast Discourse Analysis (For the period April 12-16 and 19-23, 2010)

From April 12 to 16 and 19 to 23, almost five out of ten reports by TV Patrol World (ABS-CBN 2) were about the elections. In the case of 24 Oras (GMA 7) and Teledyaryo (NBN 4), it was three out of 10 and four out of 10, respectively. The three news programs, however, devoted more than half of their coverage to the presidential election, at the expense of the senatorial and party-list campaign.

(See Table 1)


Almost six out of every 10 reports in all three news programs were aired during the first half of the program. About five percent of the total election-related reports were used as banner or lead stories during the period reviewed. (See Table 2)


Candidates as news subjects

Nacionalista Party (NP) standard bearer Manuel Villar, Jr. was the most covered candidate of TV Patrol World during the period under review, followed by the Liberal Party’s (LP) Benigno Aquino III and Lakas-Kampi’s Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. For 24 Oras, the top three were Aquino, Partido ng Masang Pilipino’s Joseph Estrada and Teodoro.  The most covered presidential candidates in Teledyaryo were Teodoro, Aquino and Villar, with the latter two tied for  second place. (See Table 3)


In the vice-presidential race, the most covered candidates by the three news programs were Loren Legarda (Nationalist People’s Coalition), Manuel Roxas (LP) and Jejomar Binay (PDP-Laban). Other vice-presidential candidates were given minimal coverage as they were covered from once to only five times during the period reviewed. (See Table 4)


Only 21 of the 61 senatorial candidates were used as news subjects by the three news programs. Eighteen were covered only once, twice or thrice. Adel Tamano (NP) was the most covered senatorial candidate even if he was used as a news subject only five times. (See Table 5)


Worse was the coverage of the party-list elections. Only four out of the 187 party-list groups were covered by all three news programs. TV Patrol World and 24 Oras had only one party-list group, Ang Ladlad, for news subject during the period reviewed. Teledyaryo, on the other hand, covered three party-list groups, even if only once each. (See Table 6)



As in the past, election coverage of the three news programs was, for the most part, event-oriented. The themes of these election-related reports were mainly the conduct of the campaign by the leading candidates, followed by issues pertaining to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and poll automation. (See Table 7)


There was scant coverage of development/policy issues as they were reported only eight times by the three news programs during the period reviewed. (See Table 8)


But political turncoatism was a recurring theme, followed by the debates or fora involving candidates and the media’s coverage of the elections. (See Table 9)


Candidates as sources

TV Patrol World used as sources of information presidential candidates Villar, Aquino and Estrada, in that order.  In the case of 24 Oras, it was Aquino, Villar and Estrada.  Expectedly, Teledyaryo’s election-related reports quoted Villar and Teodoro most, followed by Aquino and Estrada. (See Table 10)


Legarda and Roxas were the most quoted by the three news programs. In Teledyaryo’s case, only these two candidates were used as news sources, at the expense of the other six candidates who were not used as news sources at all during the period reviewed. (See Table 11)


In the senatorial election, only 17 candidates out of 61 were used as news sources, with Tamano, who occupied the top spot, being quoted only four times. All the rest were quoted only once, twice or thrice. (See Table 12)


On the other hand, five party-list groups were quoted only once during the period reviewed, with Teledyaryo accounting for four of them. (See Table 13)


Background and slant

About 95 percent of TV Patrol’s election-related reports had background information. 24 Oras, on the other hand, gave background information on 83.5 percent of its election-related reports. In the case of Teledyaryo, it was 53.9 percent. (See Table 14)


More than 95 percent of the election-related reports of TV Patrol World and 24 Oras were neutral. The same cannot be said for Teledyaryo, as only 63.6 percent of its election-related reports were neutral and 27.3 percent were positively slanted. (See Table 15)


Half of the positively slanted reports of Teledyaryo were for Teodoro, with Aquino and Roxas each getting a positive slant twice during the period reviewed. The positive slants for two presidential candidates by TV Patrol World were negligible as they happened only once each for Aquino and Estrada. (See Table 16)


The negative slant on candidates was negligible during the period reviewed: Teledyaryo aired a negatively slanted report on Aquino only once. (See Table 17)


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