Introduction 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)
Note: Election-related reports may have more than one category.
Placement 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.
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)
Aquino, Benigno Simeon III "Noynoy" Cojuangco (LP)
Villar, Manuel Jr. "Manny" Bamba (NP)
Teodoro, Gilberto Jr. "Gibo" Cojuangco (Lakas-Kampi)
Estrada Ejercito, Joseph "Erap" Marcelo (PMP)
Gordon, Richard "Dick" (B.Bayan-VNP)
Villanueva, Eduardo "Bro. Eddie" Cruz (BP)
Madrigal, Ma. Ana Consuelo "Jamby" AS (Ind)
Perlas, Jesus Nicanor "Nick" Pineda (Ind)
De los Reyes, John Carlos "JC" Gordon (AKP)
Acosta, Vetellano "Dodong" Seinez (KBL)
Total per program
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. Vice-presidential candidates as news subjects