Saturday, March 13, 2010

CMFR: Erap most covered by TV

03/13/2010 | 02:55 AM

Original Story:

Journalist watchdog group Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) said on Friday that candidates with the most political machinery are also the ones most covered by television news programs in the country, citing former president Joseph Estrada as the most covered presidential candidate.

“This year as in past elections, the candidates with the most resources were getting the most exposure via political ads. But they were also the most covered in the regular news programs… often at the disadvantage of lesser-known and/or poorly-funded candidates," CMFR said in a statement on Friday.

The CMFR’s report covered the period since the start of the election on February 9 until February 27. The group monitored the three news programs of major networks GMA, ABS-CBN, and NBN, namely, the 24 Oras, TV Patrol, and Teledyaryo newscasts.

Estrada received airtime coverage of 36.29 minutes, and is the candidate covered most by ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol.

“Although the former President did not lead in any of the three news shows in terms of time allotment, he received consistent coverage from all of them," CMFR said in a separate statement published on its website on Monday.

CMFR added that aside from the coverage of Estrada sorties, special news reports were also aired on GMA 7’s flagship primetime news program 24 Oras (Erap, tinanggap ang pagso-sorry ni Yasay on February 16) and ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol (Erap, pinapaatras on February 23).

Meanwhile, Senator Manuel Villar followed Estrada’s coverage with 34.51 minutes, with GMA 7’s 24 Oras covering him the most.

Administration Gilberto Teodoro, on the other hand, was “almost exclusively covered" by the Teledyaryo, aired on the government-run network NBN.

Teodoro received 34.36 minutes of airtime from the three news programs monitored.

“[Teodoro emerged] as the third most-covered candidate, of the ten who were officially running as of the period monitored. It should also be noted that Teledyaryo did not give any airtime to half of the ten presidential aspirants," the report said.

Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. was fourth, with all the total of 29.34 minutes, followed by Senator Richard Gordon’s 17.33 minutes.

Olongapo City Councilor JC De Los Reyes, meanwhile, got 14.36 minutes, while Brother Eddie Villanueva received 13.43 minutes.

Independent candidate Senator Jamby Madrigal got 12.11 minutes, while recently disqualified candidate Vetellano Acosta received 7.36. Least covered was independent candidate Nicanor Perlas with 6.15 minutes.

“Only four leading presidential contenders received the lion’s share of broadcast news airtime for the period. The airtime allotted to Joseph Estrada, Manuel Villar, Gilbert Teodoro and Benigno Aquino, Jr., totalled 134.5 minutes, or almost half of the combined airtime of the remaining six presidential aspirants, at 71.14 minutes," CMFR said.

The group said that the election coverage tapered off after the first day of the campaign, "as the broadcast media outlets focused on other urgent issues such as the El NiƱo phenomenon, the water shortage, and the threat of brownouts."—JV, GMANews.TV

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