Noynoy, STAR top print coverage
By Dino Balabo
The Philippine Star
MALOLOS CITY, Philippines – Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno Aquino III is the most covered presidential candidate in the top three newspapers during the first three weeks of the presidential campaign, according to a media watchdog.
The STAR has provided the most extensive coverage of the election campaign as monitored by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), which has been monitoring election reportage since 1992.
The CMFR said coverage of the three major daily newspapers has focused on the presidential campaign and neglected the campaign of candidates for senator and party-list representatives.
Based on the CMFR report, almost half of the front-page articles in the three newspapers were about the presidential, vice-presidential, senatorial, party-list campaign and general issues about upcoming elections (200 out of a total of 478 articles/items or 41.84 percent) from Feb. 10 to 27.
The report said Aquino has been the subject of 76 published stories with more than one subject.
Nacionalista Party presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. was covered in 69 stories; pro-administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro Jr., 38; former President Joseph Estrada, 33; Sen. Dick Gordon, 19; Bro. Eddie Villanueva, 18; Sen. Jamby Madrigal, 17; JC delos Reyes, 11; Nicanor Perlas, 10; and Vetellano Acosta was covered in four stories.
Aquino also led the pack with 34 stories published with him as the source of information; Villar got 27; Teodoro, 15; Estrada, 10; Gordon and Villanueva, nine each; Madrigal and Perlas, eight each; Delos Reyes, six; and Acosta, two articles.
The CMFR report Aquino is also the most photographed presidential candidate with 17 photographs published in The STAR, Manila Bulletin and Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He is followed by his cousin, Teodoro with 12, followed by Gordon and Villar, eight apiece; Estrada, seven; Madrigal, six; Delos Reyes with five, Villanueva with 4 and Acosta with two photographs.
For the vice presidential candidates, Aquino’s running mate Manuel Roxas II was the most covered with 27 stories followed by NP vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda, 22; Jejomar Binay of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, 15; Edu Manzano of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, 10; Bayani Fernando of Bagumbayan Party, eight; Perfecto Yasay of Bangon Pilipinas, six; Jay Sonza of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, 4; and Dominador Chipeco of Ang Kapatiran party with three photographs.
In the senatorial race, the most covered were re-electionist Juan Ponce Enrile with 14 stories, followed by Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,11; re-electionist Ramon Revilla Jr., 10; Neric Acosta, re-electionists Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Pia Cayetano, and former senator Franklin Drilon with nine stories each.
Risa Hontiveros and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim got eight apiece; while Ralph Recto got seven and Joey de Venecia six photographs.
Among party-list candidates, the most covered were Ang Galing Pinoy with 19 stories; followed by Gabriela women’s party, five; 1-Utak, 4; Bayan Muna, 3; Buhay and Anakpawis with two stories each.
The CMFR showed that The STAR has so far provided the most extensive coverage among the top three newspapers, publishing a total of 314 stories on the presidential, vice presidential, senatorial and party-list candidates compared to Inquirer’s 265, and the Bulletin’s 111 stories published on the first three weeks of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Villar led the pack of moneyed candidates with the most number of advertisements and airtime exposure on the top three television networks in the first three weeks of the campaign, according to CMFR.
Based on the CMFR’s election coverage and political advertisement monitoring report for Feb. 9 to 27, vice presidential candidates lagged behind in TV coverage and advertising, while party-list candidates placed no advertisements on ABS-CBN Channel 2, NBN-Channel 4, and GMA 7.
Based on the CMFR’s monitoring report on the three TV networks, a total of 854 advertisements amounting to airtime of six hours 40 minutes and 45 seconds were aired over primetime blocks of the three networks monitored.
Included in the monitoring were political advertisements placed by candidates running for president, 336; vice-president, 120; senator, 356; party-list, 0; and about elections in general, 42.
For presidential candidates, Villar had a total of 114 advertisements aired over ABS-CBN 2 and GMA 7 during the monitoring period; followed by Estrada, 98; Aquino, 66; and Gordon, 58.
NBN-4 did not air political advertisement of the above presidential candidates during the monitoring period.
The CMFR’s report said Villar’s total advertising airtime amounted to 57 minutes; Estrada, 49 minutes; Aquino, 33 minutes; and Gordon with 29 minutes in the first three weeks of the campaign.
The CMFR reminded candidates that political advertisements have to adhere to Comelec rules limiting their frequency to 120 minutes per station throughout the remaining days of the campaign.
For the vice presidential candidates, Legarda accumulated a total of 41 advertisements aired over ABS-CBN 2 and GMA 7; followed by Roxas, 36; Binay with 23; and Fernando with 19.
Fernando is the only vice presidential candidate who had aired his campaign advertisement over state-owned NBN-4.
For senatorial candidates, Enrile led the pack with most number of advertisements aired on prime time with 77; followed by Marcos, 36; Drilon, 28; Binalonan, Pangasinan Mayor Ramon Guico, 21, of which one was aired over on GMA 7 and 20 on NBN-4; De Venecia and Recto each with 19; Teofisto Guingona III, 18; Cayetano, 17; Hontiveros, 16; Santiago 15; Gilbert Remulla and Rodolfo Plaza both with 14.
Plaza’s advertisements were all aired over NBN-4.
Broadcaster Rey Langit had 12; Silvestre Bello III, 11 and Liza Maza had 10.