Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is the press helping us decide who to vote for on May 14?

The campaign season is officially on. Are we getting relevant information about the senatorial and party-list candidates from the press? Is the press helping us decide who to vote for on May 14? Or are we just getting more confusing and misleading information?

Watch for the results of the 2007 Media and Elections: Media Monitoring—the latest project of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR)—which will be released soon, to find out how the press is covering the 2007 senatorial and party-list campaign and elections.

CMFR has been monitoring the performance of the press since 1989. Its landmark citizens’ media monitoring project in the 2004 presidential elections, which included coverage of television, was a first in the Philippine electoral experience. The 2004 citizens’ media monitoring project, which included citizen groups in a broader media watch of press coverage, was also the first time that reports were released during the campaign period.

Visit www.cmfr-phil.org and www.cmfr-phil.blogspot.com to know more about the project. You may also call (894-1326/894-1314/840-0903/840-0889) or email (staff@cmfr-phil.org) CMFR for details.

CMFR is holding a round table discussion on the media coverage of the 2004 elections on March 5. Please call or email CMFR for details.


Francis said...

It should be interesting to note that the Inquirer has tasked its research department to monitor the number of articles and photos about each candidate that comes out on our pages. It may not help in giving people an inkling as to who to vote for--as if the media can actually help in that--but it does serve the purpose of making sure no candidate gets undue advantage exposure-wise.

I wish, though, there was a way to really educate the voters through the free press, without coming off as endorsing a particular candidate or what.

As much as I hate to admit it, press people tend to find the line between spreading the gospel of wise choice and blatant backing of a certain candidate so blurred they can no longer tell which side they're treading on.

And this is me, being naively hopeful.

bryant said...

Thanks Francis for your comment.

I think it's a nice move on the part of the Inquirer to monitor the news and photos it publishes. In a way, it's like the elections monitoring project CMFR is having. So, how does it go? Does the research department gives periodic reports to the newsroom during the campaign period? Or are the results of the monitoring activity going to be released after the campaign and elections has ended?

While I basically agree with your observations (like media actually telling the public who to vote for), I feel that there are still gaps in the way media cover the elections. Our 2004 elections media monitor (which findings and recommendations will be presented in the March 5 RTD) pointed to some of the things that media can do to improve its coverage.

Francis said...

You will post the result of the RTD, I presume? I hope?

Anyway, the research department does its monitoring on a daily basis. We get updates, though, on a weekly basis via the office email where the research department crafts a chart that shows just how many photos or stories of so-and-so candidate came out the past week.

It kind of acts like a reminder if we're overexposing a candidate or what.

And yes, I, too, am sick and tired of the kris-james issue. I was supposed to blog about it but got even too sick and tired for that one.

Hope to read from your rtd!

bryant said...


will try to post the RTD discussions here, after putting it first in the CMFR web (www.cmfr-phil.org).

i don't know if it is the first and only paper locally doing that, but kudos to Inquirer for self-monitoring its coverage of the elections.

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