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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Government controlled media bias..

The wonderful Appendix 1 from the Report of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services 2009 . The general picture is as expected - all the government media were effectively tools for MMD, with the only scrutiny coming from the Post. The overly critical nature of the Post of the MMD presidential candidate can therefore be broadly interpreted as an attempt to balance government controlled media subsidization of the Mr Banda's candidacy. An additional observation appears to be that the government controlled media despite the strength in numbers appears irrelevant in terms of changing public opinion :

HOW THE GOVERNMENT MEDIA COVERED THE OCTOBER 2008 PRESIDENTIAL BY - ELECTION

(a) The Times of Zambia

Number of Stories

The Times of Zambia had a total number of 54 election related stories in the period of the study. 59.3% (32/54) of the stories were about the MMD followed by the UPND with 22.7% (12/54).The least covered party was the Heritage Party with only 3.7% (2/54) of the total stories covered.

Number of Front Page Election Stories

The Newspaper had a total number of 24 stories that occupied the front page and 62.5% (15/24) on the MMD followed by both PF and UPND with 16.7% (4/24) a piece. The Heritage party had only 4.2% (1/2).

Number of Sources used in the Election Stories

The Times of Zambia had a total of 94 sources quoted for stories related to the October elections. The majority of the sources 76.6% (72/94) sources in the stories were from MMD followed by 12.8% (12/94) from the UPND. The Heritage Party had the least number of sources 2.1% (2/94).

Number of Lead Stories Published

The paper had a total of 6 election lead stories and all of them 100% (6/6) were about the MMD.

Number of Pictures Published

The Times of Zambia had a total number of 11 election related pictures. The MMD accounted for the majority of these pictures with 81.8% (9/11) followed by both the PF and HP with 9.1% each (1.11). The UPND did not have a single picture published.

Number of Stories about Presidential Candidates

The majority of the stories that directly involved the presidential candidates were about Mr. Rupiah Banda with 50% (11/22) followed by Mr. Hakainde Hichilema with 36% (8/22). The paper did not carry any story that directly quoted Heritage Party president Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda.

(b) The Zambia Daily Mail

Number of Election Stories

The Daily Mail carried a total number of 30 election related news stories and the majority of them 63.3% (19/30) were about the MMD followed by PF with 26.7% (8/30). The least covered party was the HP with no story at all.

Number of Front Page Stories

The paper carried 22 front page stories about the elections and 63.6% (14/22) were about the MMD, followed by 27.3% (6/22) for the PF while the HP was the least with no front page story.

Number of Sources

A total number of 51 sources were quoted for the stories regarding the elections. The MMD had a huge number of sources quoted 76.5% (39/51) followed by the PF with 17.6% (9/51).

Number of Lead Stories

The Daily Mail published 8 lead stories and all of them were about the MMD.

Number of Pictures

A total of 19 pictures were published and the majority of them were about the MMD 52.6 per cent (10/19). The rest of the parties had 15.8 per cent (3/19) apiece.

Number of Stories about Presidential Candidates

The Daily Mail published a total of 18 stories that directly quoted the presidential candidates. Mr. Rupiah Banda, Movement for Multiparty Democracy candidate had the most number of stories with 61 per cent (11/18) followed by Patriotic Front candidate Mr. Michael Sata with 28 per cent (5/18). Heritage Party candidate Brigadier General Miyanda was not covered directly.

(c)The Post Newspaper


Number of Stories

The Post Newspaper carried a total of 43 election stories and 41.9 per cent (18/43) were about the PF followed by the MMD with 34.9 per cent (15/43). The HP was the least with 2.3 per cent (2/43).

Number of Front Page Stories

The paper carried more stories about the MMD on its front page with 45 per cent (9/20) followed closely by the PF with 40 per cent (8/20). The Post did not publish any story about the Heritage on its front page from the copies sampled.

Number of Sources

A total number of 69 sources were quoted and 42 per cent (29/69) were MMD sources followed by the PF with 39.1 per cent (27/69). The Heritage party had the least number of sources quoted accounting only for 1.4 per cent (1/69).

Number of Lead Stories

A total of 11 lead stories where published and the majority 63.6 per cent (7/11) were about the Patriotic Front followed by the MMD with 36.4 per cent (4/11). Both the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Heritage Party did not have a lead story published about them.

Number of Pictures

The Post Newspaper had a record number of 27 pictures published. The Patriotic Front had the largest number of pictures with 63.0 per cent (17/27) followed by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy with 25.9 per cent (7/27).

Number of Stories about Presidential Candidates

A total of 20 stories published in the Post did directly involve the presidential candidates. Mr. Rupiah Banda of the MMD led with 40 per cent (8/20) followed by Mr. Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front with 30 percent (6/20), while Brigadier General Miyanda of the Heritage Party, and was the least candidate with the number of stories directly quoting him at 5 per cent (1/20).
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(d) The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)

Number of Stories

The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) aired a total of 40 news stories about the elections in the period of the study. The MMD accounted for 65.0 per cent (26/40) followed by the PF with 20.0 per cent (8/40) and the HP was the least party covered with only 2.5 per cent (1/20).

Number of Headline Stories

The majority of the headline items from the bulletins analysed were about the MMD with 60.0 per cent (6/10) followed by the PF on 30 per cent (3/10).

Number of Sources

A total of 40 sources were quoted and the majority of them were MMD 65.0 per cent (26/40). The PF was next with 20.0 per cent (8/40) while the HP had the least number of sources quoted with 2.5 per cent (1/40).

Number of Pictures

A total of 22 pictures were aired in the news items during the run up to the presidential elections and the majority of them involved the MMD 72.7 per cent (16/22) followed by the PF with 18.2 per cent (4/22).

Number of Stories about Presidential Candidates

Mr. Rupiah Banda was the presidential candidate with the highest number of news items which directly quoted him, 58 per cent (11/19) followed by Mr. Michael Sata and Mr. Hakainde Hichilema with 21 per cent (4/11) a piece.

The study also found that the private media in this case The Post Newspaper was very critical of the MMD candidate Mr. Rupiah Banda and the majority of the stories published about the MMD and Mr. Banda, in particular were negative. Quantitatively, one would get the impression that the MMD was well covered but qualitatively, that was not the case.

Examples of negative stories about the MMD and Mr. Banda were noted in the stories published under the following headlines; “Squabbles Rock Rupiah’s Campaign Team” (08/10/2008), “Rupiah is Sleepy” (10/10/2008), “Banda Has Confirmed His Own Dented Image” (10/10/2008), “Another Eyewitness Insists Rupiah Bribed Sakala (10/10/2008), “Image Builders Cause Discomfort in MMD Campaign” (13/10/2008), “Rupiah Can’t Win Without Rigging – Hichilema” (20/10/2008), “MMD Doesn’t Deserve Another Chance to Rule – UPND Councillor” (20/10/2008), “It’s Over for Rupiah – Sata” (30/10/2008) and “CBU Students Vow to Vote Against Rupiah” (30/10/2008).

1 comment:

  1. The gouvernment controlled the parliament too !

    Since september 28 2009, the deputy Mr SIMUSA submitted 12 questions to the parliament about problem in zccm-ih and about the bad board in place...

    In particular, several issues about dividends not payed by mining company

    But...the last day for the session, none of these issues in the parliament, the GRZ doesn't want to answer to these questions, GRZ doesn't want to explain to zambian people why zccm-ih can't receive dividend when in the same time the foreigners groups earn more 3 billions US $ in the same time...

    Foreign groups no pay taxes, and no pay dividends,

    who earn money ?

    ReplyDelete

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