Media reports on DA dramatically down from 2014

2016-06-28 13:24

Johannesburg - The DA has had fewer mentions in media reports, with an interim analysis of elections coverage showing that the party has only been mentioned 16% of the time, compared to the 25% coverage space it occupied in the media during the 2014 general elections.

Most of the lost coverage seems to have gone to the ANC, which has been mentioned 57% of the time so far, as opposed to 38% in the 2014 general elections.

The EFF’s coverage has dropped only slightly, from 13% in 2014 to 11%, while the IFP and NFP both remained more or less stable at 3% each.

Media watchdog Media Monitoring Africa on Tuesday presented the interim analysis of the election coverage of 74 different media, including the SABC, from June 1.

MMA’s William Bird said the ANC’s higher coverage could not be attributed to the Tshwane riots, because news reports about these were analysed separately to compensate for any distortion.

The riots, however, meant that government sources were quoted about twice as much as in previous elections.

He could not say for certain why the ANC’s coverage has been higher, but the party has so far had a number of manifesto launches, one in each province, which were covered prominently.

The DA elected a new leader last year, following the 2014 elections, after a sudden announcement by former DA leader Helen Zille that she would step down.

The MMA will also for the first time be analysing party political advertisements.

Further results have shown that the things political parties are saying were making it into the media most, with political parties (54%) topping the sources accessed in stories. Second is government (18%), then commissions (7%), like the IEC, the justice system (6%), and only 10% of the coverage reflect the voices of the citizenry.

In the previous elections, the voice of the citizenry was at 23%, whereas government was only quoted in 8% of the cases.

"We really need to see that media houses are doing as much as possible to ensure equitable, free and fair coverage that doesn’t undermine but entrenches the democratic process of these elections," Bird said.

In the past few days, there has been concern about happenings at the SABC with a crackdown on journalists who don’t conform to management’s orders not to show violent protests and not to give air time to independent commentators. 

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