ONLINE media provided comprehensive coverage of the 2007 elections and served as a “perfect complement” to traditional media by providing a thorough discussion of important issues that were not given enough information by the latter.
This was a key finding of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in its final report on the 2007 elections coverage. From February to May, CMFR monitored the coverage of the three major dailies ” Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and Manila Bulletin ” and six television news programs on ABS-CBN 2, GMA 7, ABC 5, and NBN 4.
It also conducted a supplemental study of the election coverage of public affairs programs on ABS-CBN 2, GMA 7, and ANC, as well as political advertisements in three leading broadsheets and seven television news programs. CMFR also monitored four tabloids and three radio programs.
Online media was not a main focus of the study, which tackled this topic in an annex after the main report. CMFR lauded many online publications for using “new web tools to give readers a holistic look at the Philippine elections”. These publications “capitalized on the interactive and multimedia features of the medium to trace the roots of current issues” CMFR added.
Compared to other news websites, PCIJ produced more in-depth articles about the elections on all levels, said CMFR. It cited a PCIJ analysis on the contrasting fates of administration candidates in the two chambers of Congress (An Abnormal Return to Normality) and an in-depth report on the effectiveness of senatorial campaign advertisements (Missing the Message) as examples of stories that focused on issues instead of personalities.