Note: In 2010, our 165 class in Communication Research Department conducted a survey on pre-campaigning and was featured in several media outfits. Below is one of those.
Voters don’t like pre-campaigning: study
by JESUS F. LLANTO, Newsbreak
Posted at 03/14/2009 5:09 PM | Updated as of 03/15/2009 2:34 PM
Here’s a reminder to politicians aspiring for national positions in the 2010 elections: increased exposure on television and other forms of media may not make them desirable to voters.
A study presented on Saturday by University of the Philippines students on perceptions of media presence of possible presidential and vice presidential candidates showed that high visibility in the media of personalities aspiring for the top two positions for the 2010 elections does not equate to desirability of potential candidates.
The study, IMPRESS10N: Importance of Media Presence on the Bid for the 2010 National Elections, by students of the University of the Philippines Communication Research Department, showed that increasing exposure of potential candidates through the media may not improve their desirability since most voters draw a connection between media visibility and pre-campaigning.
“In the last couple of months, certain public officials have appeared in daily newscasts and newspaper front pages more than they used to, while some have become endorsers of commercial products or spokesperson in public service advertisements. Interestingly, this increased appearance of politicians in the media becomes even more suspicious as we draw closer to the 2010 national elections,” the study noted.
Eighty-three percent of the respondents, the study said, believed that “name recall, publicity, popularity and media mileage, or simply put, pre-campaigning was the motivation behind the potential candidates’ media presence,” the study said. Meanwhile, only 16 percent believed that their presence in the media was work-related.
The study was based on 681 face-to-face interviews with residents in urban and suburban Metro Manila, Central Luzon and the Calabarzon (Cavite-Batangas-Laguna-Rizal-Quezon) and on two focus group discussions—one for the young Filipino potential voters (17-35 years old) and another for old potential voters (36 and above). Sixty percent of interview respondents were female while 40 percent were male. Respondents were distributed equally among age brackets.
“High media visibility was risky for those with political ambitions since media may emphasize the negative rather than the positive facets of the potential candidates,” the study concluded.
A number of possible contenders for the presidential race have recently appeared in some advertisements in television. Among them are Senators Manuel Villar, Manuel Roxas, Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, and Vice-President Noli de Castro.
Increased exposure in television news of potential candidates, the study said, was not viewed by some respondents as a form of politicking although respondents, across all classes and ages, believed that politicians use their status and position to gain even more publicity.
The study also asked the respondents for the names of the possible candidates for the 2010 elections and their slogans and symbols.
Villar topped the list with 79 percent of the respondents saying that he would be running in 2010. Respondents say that orange has been his most remembered symbol, and “Sipag at Tiyaga” his most memorable slogan.
Following Villar were two former media personalities: Legarda and De Castro. Forty-eight percent of the respondents believed that Legarda would be running while 45 percent said that De Castro would be a candidate in the 2010 national elections. Green Revolution has been the advocacy linked to Legarda by most of the respondents while De Castro’s “Kabayan” was his most recalled tagline.
Roxas landed on the 4th spot with 34 percent while Metro Manila Development Authority chair Bayani Fernando was in the fifth place with 26%. Roxas’ most recalled tagline was Mr. Palengke while respondents cited “Metro Gwapo” as his “most resounding advocacy.”
Those who occupied the sixth to tenth spot in the list of potential candidates for 2010 and their most remembered slogans were as follows: Panfilo Lacson (25%), “Kamay Na Bakal”; Francis Escudero (22%), “Say Chiz”; Joseph Estrada (16%), “Erap Para sa Mahirap”; Jejomar Binay (12%), “Makati, Atin Ito”; and president Gloria Arroyo (6%), “Gloria Labandera.”
|Potential Candidates and Percentage of Respondents Who Believe That They Will Run||Slogans||Symbols||Advocacies|
|Manuel Villar (79%)||Sipag at Tiyaga||Color Orange||OFW Welfare|
|Loren Legarda (48%)||Green Revolution||Color White||Women Empowerment|
|Noli De Castro (45%)||Kabayan||Kabayan||Pabahay (Housing)|
|Manuel Roxas (34%)||Mr. Palengke (Market)||Palengke||Poverty Alleviation|
|Bayani Fernando(26%)||Metro Guwapo||Colors Pink and Blue||Traffic|
|Panfilo Lacson (25%)||Kamay na bakal||Kamay na bakal||Anti-corruption|
|Francis Escudero (22%)||Say Chiz||Bamboo-look alike||Youth Empowerment|
|Joseph Estarda (16%)||Erap Para sa Mahirap||Wristband||Helping the Poor|
|Jejomar Binay (12%)||Makati, Atin Ito||Makati City||Economic Development|
|Gloria Arroyo (6%)||Gloria Labandera||Nunal (Mole)||Economic Development|
|Source: Impress10n: Importance of Media Presence on the Bid for the 2010 Elections, UP|
Other names that were identified by respondents as possible candidates but failed to make it to the top 10 include:
- 14 incumbent senators;
- Batangas Governor Vilma Santos and her husband, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto;
- former House Speaker Jose de Venecia;
- former First Lady Imelda Marcos and her daughter Imee;
- boxing champion Manny Pacquiao;
- Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte;
- Jesus Is Lord’s Eddie Villanueva;
- El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde;
- broadcasters Korina Sanchez and Susan Enriquez;
- actress Susan Roces;
- ZTE star witness Jun Lozada; and,
- former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante.
“Interestingly, for the respondents, physical appearance, family background and personal wealth, which have been traditionally used as gauges for politician’s viability in public office are less considered as these characteristics were mentioned by less than one percent of the respondents,” the study said.
TV: Still on top
Meanwhile, television remains to be the most influential medium, with almost all (98%) of the respondents using it. Radio was used by 62 percent while Internet and broadsheet were used by 42 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
“The results of the survey and the FGD echo conclusions made by previous studies that television is the most widely used, and most influential, the study said. “All top five candidates were seen most often by the respondents on TV.”
The study, however, noted that only few respondents saw the potential candidates in the Internet, a medium that has become popular in the Philippines and has been used extensively in other countries for organizing political campaigns and soliciting campaign donations.
“The Internet, which seems to draw the greatest excitement these days due to [US] president Barack Obama’s history-making and breaking rise to power, was hardly ever mentioned by the respondents when asked in which media they see potential candidates most,” the study said, adding that most respondents prefer using this medium for other purposes like downloading music, visiting social networking sites and chatting.
The media, the study showed, is perceived by most of the respondents as information provider and watchdog. A big majority of the respondents (69%) perceived that media’s primary role in politics is to inform and educate while 28 percent see it as fulfilling the function of a watchdog.
More than a third of the respondents (38%), however, believed that the media were not fair in reporting about potential candidates. Meanwhile, 31 percent believed the media were fair. Respondents said that media were not fair because it can “build up or put down personalities, as well as sensationalize or downplay issues”, “can be bribed” and “have their own agenda.” (Newsbreak)