FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Provincial Election (Revised as of April 21, 2013)

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FDA Media Study revised as of April 21, 2013. Revision number 1.

The FDA media study focuses on the last two weeks of the 2012 Alberta provincial election regarding the newspaper, radio, and television media sectors. The FDA collected data from two major media corporations in each sector and presents the relevant findings in the following report. It found that the PC Party and Wildrose Alliance Party had 65.2% of total media exposure and the seven other registered parties had 34.8% of total media exposure. Five of these seven parties had 4.1% of the total exposure. These results are similar to the actual election results in terms of percentage of coverage and percentage of popular vote received, and identical in terms of media and election result rankings of parties. The Alberta Legislature does not regulate provincial media in terms of election coverage. Therefore, the FDA recommends reform in media practices that should include some form of regulation such as a code of media conduct during elections and/or required election coverage for parties based on, for instance, the number of candidates each party endorses in an election. The high degree of media concentration in the Alberta press and television sectors may be a contributing factor to the inequitable coverage of the various parties.

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FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Provincial Election (Revised as of April 21, 2013)

  1. 1. FDA Media Study of the 2012 Albert ElectionMedia Study Completed May 22, 2012Revised as of April 21, 2013Executive SummaryThe FDA media study focuses on the last two weeks of the 2012 Alberta provincialelection regarding the newspaper, radio, and television media sectors. The FDAcollected data from two major media corporations in each sector and presents therelevant findings in the following report. The PC Party and Wildrose Alliance Partyhad 65.2% of total media exposure and the seven other registered parties had 34.8% oftotal media exposure. Five of these seven parties had 4.1% of the total exposure.These results are similar to the actual election results in terms of percentage ofcoverage and percentage of popular vote received, and almost identical in terms ofmedia and election result rankings of parties. The Alberta Legislature does notregulate provincial media in terms of election coverage. Therefore, the FDArecommends reform in media practices that should include some form of regulationsuch as a code of media conduct during elections and/or required election coverage forparties based on, for instance, the number of candidates each party endorses in anelection. The high degree of media concentration in the Alberta press and televisionsectors may be a contributing factor to the inequitable coverage of the various parties.
  2. 2. Prepared ByMr. Stephen Garvey, Executive Director Foundation for Democratic Advancement, Bachelor of Artsin Political Science, University of British Columbia and Master of Philosophy inEnvironment and Development, University of Cambridge.Purpose of the Media StudyThe purpose of the Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA)‘s media study (the Study) is todetermine the percentage of election coverage by major media for the nine registered Albertapolitical parties. This Study is an extension of the FDA‘s 2012 electoral fairness audit of the Albertaelectoral system, in which Alberta received a failing score of 45 percent for legislation pertaining tomedia election coverage.The goal of the FDAs media study is to give Albertans and other stakeholders objective data onelection coverage by major media outlets and of the nine registered parties during the last two weeksof the 2012 Alberta Election. Members of the Alberta Legislative Assembly may want to use thisdata as a basis for regulating provincial private and public media during the 28 day election period.The views in this media study are the views of the FDA only. FDA members are in no way affiliatedwith Elections Alberta or any of the provinces registered/non-registered political parties, or any ofthe Alberta media corporations. The Study is an independent assessment based on objectivity,transparency and non-partisanship. The FDA assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors inits data collection or inaccuracies in its research of relevant corporate documents.About the Foundation for Democratic AdvancementThe Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) is an international independent, non-partisandemocracy organization. The FDA‘s mission isto measure, study, and communicate the impact of government processes on a free and demo-cratic society.Overall, the FDA works1. to ensure that people become more knowledgeable about the outcomes of governmentprocesses and can then make decisions that are more informed;2. to get people involved in monitoring government processes at all levels of governmentand in providing sound, practical, and effective suggestions. (For more information onthe FDA visit: www.democracychange.org)To ensure its objectivity and independence, the FDA does not conduct privately paid research.However, if you or your organization has an important research idea or are aware of an importantissue on government processes, the FDA is available to listen to your idea or issue and possibly helpraise public awareness by initiating and leading change through report research and analysis. Pleasecontact the FDA at (403) 669-8132 or email us at info@democracychange.org for more information.An online version of this report can be found at: www.democracychange.org For further informationand/or comments on this report please contact Mr. Stephen Garvey atstephen.garvey@democracychange.org
  3. 3. Table of ContentsIntroduction 4How to Read the Report 6Chapter 1: Alberta Media Corporations in Study 7Corporate Ownership of Alberta Media 7Alberta Press Results 17Alberta Radio Results 21Alberta Television Results 25Chapter 2: Overall Media Study Results 29Chapter 3: Analysis 32Chapter 4: Conclusion 38Chapter 5: Recommendations 40References 44Appendix 1: Research Methodology 48Appendix 2: 2012 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of the Alberta Electoral System,Media Coverage Audit Results 51Appendix 3: 2012 Alberta Election Results 55FDA Media Study Team 56
  4. 4. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 4 of 56IntroductionThe FDA‘s study on the Alberta media based findings on non-partisanship and objectivity.The media study involved three main components:1) Identify major Alberta media corporations in the press, radio, and television.2) Collect data on the selected Alberta major media from April 9, 2012 to April 23, 2012.3) Compile and analyze data.Using media ownership data for Alberta, the FDA identified the major media corporations in thepress, radio, and television and chose two media corporations in each sector for the Study. Thisapproach allowed the FDA to focus on corporations with a large market share, rather thanconcentrate on every Alberta media corporation.The FDA data collection team is comprised of five FDA members and each individual focused on aparticular media corporation whether a newspaper, radio program, and television news broadcast.The collection team used spreadsheets to capture specific election content such as direct reference toparties and their candidates, interviews, front-page articles etc. In order to improve the accuracy ofcollection and analysis, the team re-checked and re-evaluated data results that were inconsistent withthe overall findings.Members entered media data into a master spreadsheet to determine percentages. To improve thecomprehension of the results, the FDA combined data into the most relevant categories such as totalmedia exposure in the press, radio, and television, and total media exposure in each media sector.The FDA analyzed the results in relation and comparison to the 2012 FDA Electoral Fairness AuditReport on the Alberta Electoral System and the 2012 Alberta Election results.The report is limited in that it does not include every corporation or interest involved in Albertamedia. However, by covering the major media outlets in each sector, the FDA is able to showevidence of the percentage of media coverage during the last two weeks of the Alberta Election. Thereport is also limited in its focus on the last two weeks of the election period as opposed to the entirefour week election period. The FDA has limited data on the correlation in coverage between the firsttwo weeks of the election period with the last two weeks. There may or may not be a correlation.The FDA assumes that the data collected is consistent with the content of all other Alberta mediaowned by the media corporations in the Study, and this assumption is supported by the online data.In addition, the FDA believes that although the Alberta election was characterized by a two partyrace this in of itself does not justify the narrow, unbalanced election coverage.The FDA acknowledges that Alberta private media has no legal requirement to provide the electoratewith broad and balanced election coverage and that the onus is not solely on the media to inform thepublic. The electorate should also make efforts to gather information and form conclusions on itsown volition. Yet, the FDA believes that during an election, legislation should mandate broad andbalanced electoral coverage for the public in order for citizens to have a reasonable opportunity to
  5. 5. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 5 of 56make informed decisions on Election Day. (For more discussion on the democratic grounds forbroad, balanced electoral discourse, see the Conclusion on page 36.)The FDA is a registered non-profit corporation, and therefore it cannot issue tax-deductible receipts.In addition, the FDA is the sole funder of this report. As a policy to maintain its independence andobjectivity, the FDA does not conduct privately funded research projects. The FDA relies ondonations. If you value this report, please consider donating to the Foundation for DemocraticAdvancement to help cover the costs of producing this report and communicating its content to thestakeholders, and to continue its work in Alberta, Canada, and abroad.
  6. 6. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 6 of 56How to Read the ReportChapter 1 focuses on percentage of Alberta media ownership in the daily newspaper, radio, andtelevision sectors. In addition, Chapter 1 shows the media study findings for each media sector basedon percentage of coverage of the nine registered Alberta political parties.Chapter 2 shows the total media study findings with comparisons, for example, to actual electionsresults and number of candidates endorsed by each party. Chapter 4 outlines the FDArecommendations based on identified issues in media ownership concentration and election coverageof political parties. In its recommendations, the FDA balances freedom with democracy while guidedby the principle that a fully informed electorate should be the overall outcome of the electionperiods.The Foundation for Democratic Advancement characterized these definitions in relation to the datacollection for the purpose of the media study.Direct news stories refer to news stories in newspapers, radio, and television that are specificallyabout a registered party and/or a candidate(s) of the party.Indirect stories refer to news stories in newspapers, radio, and television that mention a registeredparty and/or a candidate(s) of the party.Interviews refer to news stories for newspapers, radio, and television where the news organizationquestions a representative or candidate of a registered party, or using an interview by anotherorganization or statement by the representative or candidate of the registered party, for print orbroadcast.
  7. 7. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 7 of 56Chapter One: Alberta Media Election ContentAlberta Media Corporations in StudyPressCalgary HeraldCalgary SunRadioQR770, Rutherford ShowCBC Radio Calgary, Alberta@NoonTelevisionCTV CalgaryGlobal Television CalgaryCorporate Media OwnershipPressThe Postmedia Network Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Postmedia Network CanadaCorporation, owns both the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal. According to PostmediaNetworks website, Postmedia Network Incorporated is the largest publisher of English-languagedaily newspapers in Canada.Quebecor Media Incorporated/Sun Media Corporation owns the following provincial dailynewspapers: the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Fort McMurray Today, and Herald-Tribune (GrandPrairie).2010 weekly circulation numbersPostmedia Network IncorporatedCalgary Herald has 914,165 paid circulation.Edmonton Journal has 756,148 paid circulation.Quebecor Media Incorporated/Sun Media CorporationCalgary Sun has 279,724 paid circulation.Edmonton Sun has 323,410 paid circulation.
  8. 8. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 8 of 56Fort McMurray Today has 10,305 paid circulation.Herald-Tribune (Grand Prairie) has 28,155 paid circulation.Other Alberta paid daily newspapersBlack Press:Red Deer Advocate has 83,987 paid circulation.Glacier Canadian Newspapers/Alta Newspaper Group:Lethbridge Herald has 112,622 paid circulation.Medicine Hat News has 70,452 paid circulation.Based on these four corporations and their weekly circulation numbers, Postmedia Network has64.8 percent of the paid daily newspaper market in Alberta, and Quebecor/Sun Media has 24.9percent. Combined, these corporations maintain 89.6 percent ownership of the Alberta paid dailycirculation.Table 1 2010 Paid Circulation for Alberta Daily NewspapersAlberta weekly paidcirculation2010 weeklypaidcirculation% ofweeklycirculationBlack Press 83,987 3.30%Glacier Cdn/AltaNewspaper Group183,074 7.10%Postmedia Network 1,670,313 64.80%Quebecor/Sun Media 641,594 24.90%Total 2,578,968 100.00%Total of Alberta DailyMarket by Postmediaand Quebecor/SunMedia89.60%In terms of Alberta weekly newspapers, Quebecor/Sun Media owns 32 of Albertas 118 weeklynewspapers or 27.12 percent of the Alberta weekly newspaper market. Postmedia NetworkCorporation does not own Alberta weekly newspapers (Merrell, 2012). Alberta weekly newspapersreach about 80 percent of Albertas non-metro households, and have a combined circulation of about800,000 including the North West Territories (Holmes, 2012). According to Mr. Murray Elliott,
  9. 9. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 9 of 56President of the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association, in a letter to the FDA dated June 1, 2012,the Alberta weekly newspaper election coverage may seem ―lopsided‖ like the Alberta dailynewspaper coverage (Elliot, 2012). Mr. Elliott argues that the weekly newspaper coverage reflectsthe views of the communities the newspapers serve, and that weekly newspaper editors found itdifficult getting information from the other seven parties. In a radio interview of the FDA on May22, 2012, QR660 News confirmed the same difficulty in getting information from the smallerparties.Ownership breakdown of Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association community weeklies(Merrell, 2012)55 – independently owned and operated (29 own one newspaper; 16 own 2 to 4 newspapers);32 – Sun Media (a subsidiary of Quebecor);18 – Great West Newspaper Group (a co. that started with the St. Albert Gazette in 1961);8 – Black Press Ltd., (a newspaper company headquartered in Vancouver);5 – Southern Alberta Newspaper Group (owners of the Lethbridge Herald, Medicine Hat News)The FDA pie chart captures Alberta daily newspaper weekly circulation percentages. The chartincludes Postmedia Network and Quebecor/Sun Media, which were part of the FDA media study.
  10. 10. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 10 of 56RadioAlberta Radio Ownership by Company and Station (CRTC Ownership Charts for CanadianRadio and Television, 2012)QR770 (including the Rutherford show) is owned by Corus Entertainment, which is controlled byJ.R. Shaw. Corus Entertainment has interests in the following Alberta radio stationsCHED—AM Edmonton (Corus Entertainment)CKNG—FM Edmonton (Corus Entertainment)CHQT—AM Edmonton (Corus Radio Company owned 100% by Corus Entertainment)CISN—FM Edmonton (Corus Radio Company owned 100% by Corus Entertainment)CKRY—FM Calgary (Corus Radio Company owned 100% by Corus Entertainment)CFGQ—FM Calgary (CKIK—FM Limited owned 100% by Corus Entertainment)CHQR—AM Calgary (CKIK—FM Limited owned 100% by Corus Entertainment)The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) owns CBC Radio Calgary (includingAlberta@Noon). The CBC is a Canadian crown corporation; it receives federal funding and revenuefrom commercial advertisement. The CBC owns the following Alberta radio stationsCBCX—FM CalgaryCBR CalgaryCBR—FM CalgaryCBX EdmontonCBX—FM EdmontonCHFA EdmontonOther Alberta radioTouch Canada Broadcasting Inc. (Owned by Charles R. Allard):1 Calgary radio station3 Edmonton radio stations1 Rural radio stationAstral3 Calgary radio stations2 Edmonton radio stations1 Rural radio stationBell Media Calgary Radio Partnership1 Calgary radio stationThomas Fung (Fairchild)
  11. 11. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 11 of 561 Calgary radio stationPaul Hill1 Edmonton radio stationElmer Hidebrand1 Edmonton radio station (53.98 percent ownership)6 Rural radio stationsJames A. Pattison9 Rural radio stationsNewcap Incorporated2 Calgary radio stations2 Edmonton radio stations28 Rural radio stationsRogers Communications Inc.4 Calgary radio stations3 Edmonton radio stations7 Rural radio stationsVista Broadcast Group Inc.3 Rural radio stationsTable 2 Alberta Radio OwnershipBased on Numbers of Radio Stations
  12. 12. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 12 of 56% of Alberta radioownership (based onnumber of radiostations)Calgary Edmonton RuralCBC Radio 3 4 0J.R. Shaw 3 3 0Touch Canada 1 3 1Astral 3 2 1Bell Media 1 0 0Fairchild 1 0 0Paul Hill 0 1 0Elmer Hidebrand 0 1 6James Pattison 0 0 9Newcap 2 2 28Rogers 4 3 7Vista 0 0 3Total AB radio stations 18 19 55Table 3 Percentatge Breakdown of Alberta Radio Station OwnershipRadiocorporations inmedia study% of radioownership inCalgary (based onnumber radio ofstations)% of radioownership inEdmonton (based onnumber radio ofstations)% of radioownershipin AB rural(based onnumberradio ofstations)Total % of ABradioownershipCBC Radio 16.7% 21.1% 0.0% 7.60%J. R. Shaw 16.7% 16.7% 0.0% 6.5%Total AB radiostations92
  13. 13. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 13 of 56The FDA pie chart captures the percentage of ownership of Alberta radio including ownership byJ.R. Shaw and CBC Radio, which were part of the FDA media study.Television
  14. 14. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 14 of 56Alberta Tevision Ownership by Company and Station (CRTC Ownership Charts for CanadianRadio and Television, 2012)CTV Calgary is owned by BCE (Bell Media—TV). BCE owns the following Alberta televisionstationsCFCN—DT CalgaryCFCN—DT-5 LethbridgeCFRN—DT EdmontonCFRN—TV-6 Red DeerJ.R. Shaw controls Global Television Calgary. Shaw Media Incorporated owns the followingAlberta television stationsCICT—DT CalgaryCISA—DT LethbridgeCITV—DT EdmontonOther Alberta televisionCBC1 Calgary television channel2 Edmonton television channelsJames A. Pattison1 Rural television channelRogers Communications Inc.2 Calgary television channels2 Edmonton television channelsTable 4 Alberta Television Station Ownership Based on Number of Stations Owned
  15. 15. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 15 of 56Alberta televisionownershipCalgary Edmonton RuralBell Media (CTV) 1 1 2J.R. Shaw (Global TV) 1 1 1Other televisionowners3 4 1Total AB televisionstations5 6 4Table 5 Percentage of Television Station OwnershipTelevisioncorporations in mediastudyTotal % of AB TVownership (basedon number of TVstations)Bell Media (CTV) 26.7%J.R. Shaw (Global TV) 20.0%
  16. 16. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 16 of 56The FDA pie chart captures the percentage of ownership in the Alberta television sector includingownership by J.R. Shaw and Bell Media, which were part of the FDA media study.Media Study Data Collection ResultsAlberta PressTable 6 Daily Newspaper Covergage of Alberta Political PartiesAlberta registeredpolitical partiesFront page/ nonfront pagearticles,editorials inprint%AB Liberals 141 17.7%AB NDP 130 16.3%AB Party 20 2.5%AB Social Credit 4 0.5%Communist AB 0 0.0%EverGreen AB 9 1.1%
  17. 17. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 17 of 56PC Party 246 30.9%Separation Party 0 0.0%Wildrose Alliance 246 30.9%Total 796 100.0%Table 7 Percentage Breakdown of Daily Newspaper Coverage of Alberta PoliticalPartiesAlbertaregisteredpolitical partiesOnline front pageand non front pagearticles andindirect mentions%Total exposure inprint and online%AB Liberals 113 17.0% 254 17.4%AB NDP 112 16.9% 242 16.6%AB Party 19 2.9% 39 2.7%AB Social Credit 1 0.2% 5 0.3%Communist - AB 0 0.0% 0 0.0%EverGreen AB 4 0.6% 13 0.9%PC Party 194 29.2% 440 30.1%Separation Party 1 0.2% 1 0.1%
  18. 18. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 18 of 56Wildrose Alliance 220 33.1% 466 31.9%Total 664 100.0% 1460 100.0%The FDA pie chart captures the total print media exposure (including online) of Alberta politicalparties from the FDA newspaper data collection.
  19. 19. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 19 of 56The FDA bar chart demonstrates the print media significant bias for the Wildrose Alliance Party andPC Party, and the bias for the Alberta Liberals and Alberta NDP.
  20. 20. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 20 of 56Alberta RadioTable 8 Percentage of Radio Coverage on QR770 (Rutherford show) and CBCRadio Calgary Alberta@NoonAlberta registeredpolitical partiesNumber of newsstories directlyabout party(and/orcandidates ofparty) and/orinterviews%AB Liberals 20 18.2%AB NDP 10 9.1%AB Party 4 3.6%AB Social Credit 0 0.0%Communist AB 0 0.0%EverGreen AB 1 0.9%PC Party 45 40.9%Separation Party 0 0.0%Wildrose Alliance 30 27.3%Total 110 100.0%
  21. 21. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 21 of 56Table 9 Percentage Breakdown of Alberta Radio Election CoverageAlberta registeredpolitical partiesNumber of newsstories indirectlyabout party orcandidates ofparty (Anytimeparty orcandidates areindirectlymentioned)%Totalexposure ofdirect andindirectstories, andinterviews%AB Liberals 63 12.8% 83 13.8%AB NDP 41 8.3% 51 8.5%AB Party 5 1.0% 9 1.5%AB Social Credit 2 0.4% 2 0.3%Communist - AB 0 0.0% 0 0.0%EverGreen AB 2 0.4% 3 0.5%PC Party 212 43.1% 257 42.7%Separation Party 0 0.0% 0 0.0%Wildrose Alliance 167 33.9% 197 32.7%Total 492 100.0% 602 100.0%
  22. 22. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 22 of 56The FDA pie chart captures the total media exposure of the Alberta political parties from the FDAradio data collection.
  23. 23. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 23 of 56The FDA bar chart demonstrates the radio media significant bias for the PC Party and WildroseAlliance Party, and bias for the Alberta Liberals and Alberta NDP.
  24. 24. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 24 of 56Alberta TelevisionTable 10 Election Coverage on Global TV Calgary and CTV CalgaryAlberta registeredpolitical partiesNumber of newsstories directly andindirectly aboutparty (and/orcandidates ofparty) and/orinterviews%AB Liberals 63 15.4%AB NDP 66 16.1%AB Party 13 3.2%AB Social Credit 1 0.2%Communist - AB 1 0.2%EverGreen AB 4 1.0%PC Party 128 31.2%Separation Party 1 0.2%Wildrose Alliance 133 32.4%Total 410 100.0%
  25. 25. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 25 of 56Table 11 Percentage Breakdown of Alberta Television Election CoverageAlbertaregisteredpolitical partiesNumber of onlinenews articlesdirectly andindirectly aboutparty (and/orcandidates ofparty) and/orinterviews%Total exposure ofdirect and indirectTV stories, TVinterviews, andonline stories%AB Liberals 44 16.0% 107 15.6%AB NDP 40 14.5% 106 15.5%AB Party 18 6.5% 31 4.5%AB Social Credit 0 0.0% 1 0.1%Communist - AB 0 0.0% 1 0.1%EverGreen AB 3 1.1% 7 1.0%PC Party 87 31.6% 215 31.4%Separation Party 0 0.0% 1 0.1%Wildrose Alliance 83 30.2% 216 31.5%Total 275 100.0% 685 100.0%
  26. 26. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 26 of 56The FDA pie chart captures the total media exposure (including online) of the Alberta politicalparties from the FDA television data collection.
  27. 27. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 27 of 56The FDA bar chart demonstrates the television media significant bias for the Wildrose Alliance Partyand PC Party, and bias for the Alberta Liberals and Alberta NDP.
  28. 28. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 28 of 56Chapter Two: Overall Alberta Media Study ResultsTable 12 Percentage of Total Media Coverage for Alberta Political PartiesAlberta registeredpolitical partiesTotal exposure innewspapers, radio,and television inlast two weeks ofAB election%AB Liberals 444 16.2%AB NDP 399 14.5%AB Party 79 2.9%AB Social Credit 8 0.3%Communist - AB 1 0.0%EverGreen AB 23 0.8%PC Party 912 33.2%Separation Party 2 0.1%Wildrose Alliance 879 32.0%Total 2747 100.0%
  29. 29. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 29 of 56The FDA pie chart captures the total media exposure of the Alberta political parties from the FDAdata collection.
  30. 30. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 30 of 56Table 13 Comparison of Total Media Coverage Versus Election ResultsAlberta registered politicalpartiesPercentage of total mediaexposure in last two weeks*2012 Alberta Election resultsaccording to popular vote1. PC Party 33.2% 43.9%2. Wildrose Alliance Party 32.0% 34.4%3. Alberta Liberals 16.2% 9.9%4. Alberta NDP 14.5% 9.8%5. Alberta Party 2.9% 1.4%6. EverGreen Party of Alberta 0.8% 0.4%7. Alberta Social Credit Party 0.3% 0.0%8. Separation Party of Alberta 0.1% 0.0%9. Communist Party - Alberta 0.0% 0.0%The table captures the overall ranking of total media exposure in the last weeks of the AlbertaElection as compared to election results.* The percentage is based on the data collected in the last two weeks of the Alberta Election from sixmajor media corporations.
  31. 31. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 31 of 56Chapter Three: AnalysisThe PC Party received the highest total coverage in all three media sectors with a score of 33.2%.The Wildrose Alliance Party followed close behind with only 1.2% less coverage (32%). Coveragedrops off significantly with the Alberta Liberals and Alberta NDP garnering 16.2% and 14.5% ofmedia coverage, respectively, 18.7% and 17% less coverage than the PC Party received. After theAlberta NDP, coverage drops off significantly again with the Alberta Party at 2.9% coverage (30.3%less coverage than the PC Party).The PC Party and Wildrose Alliance Party account for 65.2% of the total media coverage (coveredby the FDA study). Together, the PC Party, Wildrose Alliance, Alberta Liberals, and Alberta NDPaccount for 95.9% of the total media coverage. The remaining five parties, The Alberta Party,Alberta Social Credit, Communist Party – Alberta, Evergreen Party of Alberta, and Separation Partyof Alberta, account for 4.1% of the total media coverage. The Communist Party – Alberta had 0.0%coverage in major provincial media outlets.The Alberta election results were almost identical to the total media coverage results in terms ofelection ranking and similar in terms of percentage of coverage and percentage of popular vote:1) PC Party (+ 10.69 in popular vote as compared to total media coverage captured by FDA study)2) Wildrose Alliance (+2.35)3) Alberta Liberals (-6.32)4) Alberta NDP (-4.66)5) Alberta Party (-1.54)6) EverGreen Party (-.41)7) Alberta Social Credit (-.30)8) Alberta Separation Party (-.10)9) Communist Party - Alberta (0.0)The media and election results show that major media coverage does not correlate exactly to popularvote. Yet, media coverage does correlate exactly to overall election result in terms of ranking. Inaddition, the media and election results show that parties with the most significant media coveragehad higher (positive) percentage of popular vote as compared to other parties with less mediacoverage.Results in the radio section of the Study had the most disparity as compared with the other media
  32. 32. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 32 of 56areas. Yet, the ranking in this section is almost identical with the election results and the mediaresults more resemble the election results.1) PC Party (+1.19)2) Wildrose Alliance (+1.65)3) Alberta Liberals (-3.92)4) Alberta NDP (-1.34)5) Alberta Party (-.14)6) EverGreen Party (-.11)7) Albert Social Credit (-.30)8) Alberta Separation Party (0.0)9) Communist Party - Alberta (0.0)The FDA compares Study results with the percentage of candidates (per party) who ran in theelection. The purpose of this comparison is to determine if there is any correlation betweenpercentage of media coverage and number of candidates fielded by the Alberta parties.Table 14 Comparison of Alberta Media Coverage Versus Number of CandidatesEndorsed by Each Alberta Political PartyAlberta registeredpolitical partiesNumber ofcandidates in ABelection% of candidatesin election% of total mediacoverage as perFDA studyPC Party 87 100.0% 33.2%Wildrose Alliance 87 100.0% 32.0%AB Liberals 87 100.0% 16.2%AB NDP 87 100.0% 14.5%AB Party 38 43.7% 2.9%EverGreen Party 25 28.7% 0.8%AB Social Credit 3 3.4% 0.3%Separation Party of AB 2 2.3% 0.1%Communist Party - AB 1 1.1% 0.0%Maximum Number ofCandidates Allowed inElection Per Party87The table shows the disparity in media coverage and number of candidates fielded by each party. If
  33. 33. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 33 of 56each party receives 1.15% of media coverage per candidate it fields, then the percentage of mediawould be:Table 15 Percentage of Media Coverage Based on Number Candidates Endorsed byEach Political PartyAlberta registeredpolitical partiesNumber ofcandidates inAB election% of media coveragebased on 1.15% percandidatePC Party 87 100.0%Wildrose Alliance 87 100.0%AB Liberals 87 100.0%AB NDP 87 100.0%AB Party 38 43.7%EverGreen Party 25 28.7%AB Social Credit 3 3.4%Separation Party of AB 2 2.3%Communist Party - AB 1 1.1%Candidate value as %of media coverage1.15%Based on 1.15% of coverage per candidate within 100% coverage divided between nine parties, the
  34. 34. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 34 of 56Alberta parties would have the following media coverage:Table 16 Percentage of Media Coverage by Number of Candidates Endorsed by EachParty Versus Media Coverage Per FDA StudyAlberta registeredpolitical parties% of mediacoverage as % ofnumber ofcandidates% of totalmedia coverageas per FDAstudyPC Party 19.9% 33.2%Wildrose Alliance 19.9% 32.0%AB Liberals 19.9% 16.2%AB NDP 19.9% 14.5%AB Party 10.9% 2.9%EverGreen Party 7.8% 0.8%AB Social Credit 0.9% 0.3%Separation Party of AB 0.6% 0.1%Communist Party - AB 0.3% 0.0%Total 100.0% 100.0%The table illustrates that the PC Party and Wildrose Alliance benefited the most from media coverageduring the election with the PC Party having 13.3% more coverage than under percentage ofcandidates and Wildrose Alliance having 12.1% more coverage. The Alberta Party fared the worstwith -8.0% less coverage, the EverGreen Party of Alberta with -7.0%, Alberta NDP with -5.4%, andthe Alberta Liberals with -3.7%. All parties had negative values for coverage under percentage ofcandidates except the PC Party and Wildrose Alliance Party. It should be noted that the FDAassumes that smaller parties would field more candidates in an equitable and fair provincial electoralsystem. For the electoral fairness audit results for the entire Alberta electoral system see the FDAElectoral Fairness Report on the Alberta, 2012.Under a system of equal media coverage, each party would receive 11.11% of the coverage:
  35. 35. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 35 of 56Table 17 Media Coverage as Per FDA Study Compared to Equal Media CoverageAlberta registeredpolitical parties% of totalmediacoverage asper FDAstudy% of equalcoverage% differencein actualcoverageversus equalcoveragePC Party 33.2% 11.11% +22.09%Wildrose Alliance 32.0% 11.11% +20.89%AB Liberals 16.2% 11.11% +5.09%AB NDP 14.5% 11.11% +3.39%AB Party 2.9% 11.11% -8.2%EverGreen Party 0.8% 11.11% -10.31%AB Social Credit 0.3% 11.11% -10.81%Separation Party ofAB0.1% 11.11% -11.01%Communist Party -AB0.0% 11.11% -11.11%Total 100% 100% 0%The table captures the severe inequality of dissemination of view points in the actual election, inwhich the PC Party and Wildrose Alliance received plus 20% in media coverage (as compared to anequal system) and the AB Social Credit, Separation Party, Communist Party, and Alberta Partyreceived minus 8.2% or lower. The Alberta Liberals and Alberta NDP were in the positive zone forcoverage (as compared to an equal system), but more than 15% less than the PC Party and WildroseAlliance.
  36. 36. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 36 of 56The FDA scatter chart captures the disparity in election coverage between the actual electioncoverage (black symbols) versus election coverage in an equal system (yellow symbols).
  37. 37. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 37 of 56Chapter Four: ConclusionThe Alberta provincial government does not regulate the political content of newspapers, radio, andtelevision during the election periods (FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Alberta, 2012). Bothprivate and public media outlets in Alberta determine their own election coverage. With the PC Partyand Wildrose Alliance Party capturing 65.2% of coverage in the 2012 Alberta Election (based on theFDA study), and five parties capturing only 4.1% of coverage, it is clear in the latter half of theelection that provincial private and public media outlets did not demonstrate broad and balancedelection reporting. The benefit of broad and balanced coverage is to provide a reasonable opportunityfor voters to gather, explore, and examine various sources of information in order to make educateddecisions at the ballot box.* In theory, elections should reflect the decisions of the public as to whowill govern them. It is acknowledged that private media is driven primarily by profit,viewers/readers, shareholders, and/or ideological, partisan agendas; public media is driven byviewers/readers and/or ideological, and partisan agendas rather than a concerted effort to informvoters in the broadest sense. Given the discrepancy between the purpose of elections and theevidence of this report, the FDA recommends implementing some form of regulation in order toensure that Alberta‘s private and public political coverage is consistent with a fully informedelectorate. The FDA concedes that a functioning democracy requires voter responsibility to educatethemselves about parties, candidates, and policy in tandem with information being readily availableby the media. However, it assumes that many voters do not take the required time or effort toexamine party platforms but rely on readily available and convenient newspaper, radio, andtelevision news.* With reference to Harper v. Canada (Attorney General), 2004, Supreme Court Justices Iacobucci,Bastarache, Arbour, LeBel, Deschamps, and Fish JJ. articulate the democratic rationale for equaldissemination of points of view:―In promoting the equal dissemination of points of view by limiting advertising of thirdparties [or regulating media corporations] who are influential in the electoral process, theoverarching objective of the spending limits [or regulation of media] is electoral fairness....The right of meaningful participation in s. 3 of the Charter cannot be equated with theexercise of freedom of expression. The two rights are distinct and must be reconciled. Unders. 3, the right of meaningful participation in the electoral process is not limited to theselection of elected representatives and includes a citizens right to exercise his or her vote inan informed manner. In the absence of spending limits, it is possible for the affluent or anumber of persons pooling their resources and acting in concert to dominate the politicaldiscourse, depriving their opponents of a reasonable opportunity to speak and be heard, andundermining the voters ability to be adequately informed of all views. Equality in thepolitical discourse is thus necessary for meaningful participation in the electoral process andultimately enhances the right to vote....While the right to political expression lies at the core of the guarantee of free expression and
  38. 38. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 38 of 56warrants a high degree of constitutional protection, there is nevertheless a danger thatpolitical advertising [or media ownership concentration] may manipulate or oppress thevoter....Promoting electoral fairness by ensuring equality of each citizen in elections, preventing thevoices of the wealthy from drowning out those of others, and preserving confidence in theelectoral system, are pressing and substantial objectives in a liberal democracy....In their reasons, Supreme Court Justices McLachlin C.J., Major, and Binnie JJ. quote fromLibman, supra, at para. 47:Elections are fair and equitable only if all citizens are reasonably informed of all the possiblechoices and if parties and candidates are given a reasonable opportunity to present theirpositions so that election discourse is not dominated by those with access to greater financialresources [or greater media access and exposure].‖[ ] by the Foundation for Democratic Advancement.The argument by the Canadian Supreme Court is very clear: electoral fairness is a pressing andsubstantial part of democracy and an educated and informed electorate is part of that fairness. Itfollows that based on the evidence in this report that Alberta private and public media requiresregulation to facilitate a process that informs citizens of all possible choices. Presentingcomprehensive and extensive information on only two of the nine registered parties falls well shortof that standard, and ultimately does a disservice for Alberta voters.
  39. 39. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 39 of 56Chapter Five: RecommendationsThe FDA identified three media regulatory options for Alberta. It recommends that one or more ofthese options be considered for future provincial elections. In addition, the FDA acknowledges thatthere is a delicate balance between freedom of the press and regulation of the press, however, theFDA believes that regulation may be necessary to overcome the disconnect between motives ofprivate and public media and democratic elections solely about the voice of the people. Below theFDA draws on legislation from foreign countries strictly from a legislative standpoint.1) Media ownership concentration laws.Norway, France, and Bolivia have media ownership concentration laws. The purpose of theselaws is to create a plurality of media ownership, and thereby encourage pluralistic mediacoverage of elections. However, there is no guarantee that media concentration laws willresult in pluralistic election coverage. Under these laws, it is still possible that mediaownership could still favor the PC Party and Wildrose Alliance Party in Alberta.An outline of Norways regulation of media ownership in which significantownership positions are restricted, is outlined (The Media Ownership Act, 1999)Section 10 National restrictions on ownershipA significant ownership position in the market nationally shall normally beconsidered to exist:a) in the case of control through a share of 40 percent or more of the total dailycirculation for the daily press,b) in the case of control through a share of 40 percent or more of the total viewingfigures for television,c) in the case of control through a share of 40 percent or more of the total listeningratings for radio,d) in the case of control through a share of 30 percent or more in one of the mediamarkets mentioned in litras a), b) or c), and 20 percent or more in one of the othermedia markets mentioned in litras a), b) or c),e) in the case of control through a share of 20 percent or more in one, 20 percent ormore in another and 20 percent or more in a third of the media markets mentioned inlitras a), b) or c) orf) when an enterprise controlling 10 percent or more in one of the media marketsmentioned in litras a), b) or c) becomes owner or part-owner of an enterprise formingpart of another grouping controlling more than 10 percent or more within the samemedia market (cross ownership).Section 11 Regional ownership restrictionsA significant ownership position in the media market regionally shall normally beconsidered to exist in case of control through a share of 60 percent or more of the
  40. 40. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 40 of 56total daily circulation of regional and local newspapers in one media region.a) France requires plurality of election coverage through a media code of conduct,media ownership concentration laws, and an independent and impartial public media.France restricts press ownership to 30 percent of the market, and guarantees politicalparties equal airtime on private and public audiovisual media outlets. In Alberta, thePostmedia Network Corporation owns 65 percent of the Alberta daily newspapercirculation, and there is no guaranteed equal airtime or code of conduct for privateand public media.From the French Embassy in the United Kingdom (Freedom of Speech in FrenchMedia, 2012):―In France, the state guarantees the freedom of the press and safeguards theindependence of the media by preserving the conditions for diverse opinions andpluralism in the media. The law prevents excessive media concentration byprohibiting any one media group from owning more than 30% of dailynewspaper circulation. The Act of 29 July 1881 on freedom of the press provides aframework for press freedom by setting restrictions aimed at striking a balancebetween freedom of speech, protection of individual rights, and public order. In 1984,the Constitutional Council acknowledged the constitutional value of press freedomand its necessary role in a democracy.The freedom of the press has also applied to television since Act 82-652 of 29 July1982 on audiovisual communications, which ended the state monopoly on television.The purpose of the various laws on audiovisual communications is to guaranteemedia independence and pluralism by establishing rules on to limit mediaconcentration (Arts. 17 and 41-4 of Act 86-1067). Freedom of speech in theaudiovisual media must not infringe individual rights. Article 1 of Act 86-1067 of 30September 1986 on media freedom conditions ―the exercise of that freedom… onrespect for human dignity, individual rights and private property, on the pluralexpression of schools of thought and opinion, on the protection of minors, on thepreservation of public order and national security and on the standards expectedof a public service‖. The legislation includes special measures to protect minors,such as the ban on broadcasting programmes for them of a pornographic or violentnature.The guidance for public television channels and the agreements signed by privatechannels set forth ethical principles of independence and pluralism similar to thosedefined in the legislation. The Higher Audiovisual Council (www.csa.fr), France‘sindependent media watchdog, guarantees media freedom. It is not empowered eitherto impose or to prevent the airing of a programme, but supervises programmecompliance with the law and channel guidance after it is broadcast. The CSA paysspecial attention to programmes for young audiences and to ensuring that the sameamount of broadcast time is allocated to political parties and candidates duringelectoral periods. Act 2000-719 of 1 August 2000 on media freedom amends and
  41. 41. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 41 of 56expands the 1986 Act by increasing the diversity of the audiovisual offering, chieflythrough provisions on the introduction of digital terrestrial television and theestablishment of local television stations‖ (Bold by the FDA).b) Bolivia has media ownership concentration laws based on a constitutional ban onmonopolies and oligopolies. Media ownership is divided equally between privatemedia, government, and social and indigenous groups:Privately owned radio and TV usage no more than 33 percent of licenses.Government radio and TV usage no more than 33 percent of licenses.Social and indigenous groups usage no more than 33 percent of licenses (BolivianLaw of the Electoral System, 2010).Bolivias approach overcomes the limitation of Norways and Frances ownership lawsby further guaranteeing a plurality of election content and more diverse expression inbroadcast media. However, it is unclear how feasible the Bolivian approach isconsidering the infrastructure and hardware cost of broadcast news outlets and thelimited funds of most non-profit and charity groups.2) Media coverage based on percentage of candidates endorsed by parties.The percentage of candidates‘ coverage would be applied to Albertas 28 day election period. Asmentioned in the report, the FDA provides an example of percentage of candidates for Albertas87 electoral districts. Each candidate receives a value of 1.15%.Table 18 Media Coverage Based on Percentage of Candidates Endorsed
  42. 42. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 42 of 56Alberta registeredpolitical partiesNumber ofcandidates in ABelection% of media coveragebased on 1.15% percandidatePC Party 87 100.0%Wildrose Alliance 87 100.0%AB Liberals 87 100.0%AB NDP 87 100.0%AB Party 38 43.7%EverGreen Party 25 28.7%AB Social Credit 3 3.4%Separation Party of AB 2 2.3%Communist Party - AB 1 1.1%Candidate value as %of media coverage1.15%Based on 1.15% of coverage per candidate within 100% coverage divided between nine parties, theAlberta parties would have the following media coverage:
  43. 43. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 43 of 56Table 19 Media Coverage Based on Number of Candidates Endorsed Compared to the FDA’sMedia Study ResultsAlberta registeredpolitical parties% of mediacoverage ofcoverage as % ofnumber ofcandidates% of total mediacoverage as perFDA studyPC Party 19.9% 33.2%Wildrose Alliance 19.9% 32.0%AB Liberals 19.9% 16.2%AB NDP 19.9% 14.5%AB Party 10.9% 2.9%EverGreen Party 7.8% 0.8%AB Social Credit 0.9% 0.3%Separation Party of AB 0.6% 0.1%Communist Party - AB 0.3% 0.0%Total 100.0% 100.0%The limitation of percentage of candidates is that there are other factors such as electoral financelegislation and party registration requirements that determine the number of candidates a party canpresent. In addition, when a party fields candidates in all districts, this does not necessarily mean theparty should get equal media coverage as other parties that field candidates in all districts.3) Political content laws which require fair and balanced media content during elections through acode of media conduct.Although there is a code of conduct for press in Canada and New Zealand, adherence isvoluntary and they do not include provisions that apply to broad and balanced electioncoverage. In addition, the Canadian Broadcast Act does not include measures that requirebroad and balanced election coverage. However, Venezuela requires that election coverage be―complete and balanced‖, and the Venezuelan National Election Commission is empoweredfinancially to ensure complete and balanced coverage during elections (Regulation No. 6 ofthe Organic Law Electoral Process Field of Propaganda During the Electoral Campaign,2012):Chapter IIISocial Electoral Propaganda in Social Media
  44. 44. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 44 of 56FinancingThe National Electoral Council may finance part or in full, the diffusion of electoralpropaganda in the media of radio, television or printed, in accordance with regulationsestablished for that purpose.Impartiality of the mediaArticle 79. The media, public or private and independent producers cannot make on their ownany type of propaganda aimed at supporting a candidate or a candidate, or to encourage ordiscourage voting or vote constituencies for or against any of the nominations.Obligation to disseminate electoral propagandaArticle 80. The media may not refuse to broadcast election propaganda. In case of doubt ordispute, interested or concerned may request the National Electoral Council to determinewhether the electoral propaganda meets the requirements of these rules, and its decision shallbe compulsory.CoverageArticle 81. The mass media and private information will be given a complete and balancedcoverage of related information and without distorting the reality of the campaign. To thisend, observe a strict balance in time and space dedicated to information relating to activitiescarried out by the candidate or candidates.Venezuelas approach requires the media to provide complete and balanced election reportingand empowers the National Election Council to facilitate and create said coverage where it islacking. Its code of media conduct is supported by state intervention where and when it isrequired. As long as state intervention is non-partisan and objective, and media corporationshonour the code of conduct, this approach may be effective.ReferencesAbout Us. (2013). Alberta Press Council. Retrieved from
  45. 45. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 45 of 56http://www.albertapresscouncil.ca/index.htmlBolivian Law of the Electoral System. (2010). Act No. 26. June 30, 2010.Canadian Broadcasting Act. (1991). Retrieved from the Canadian Department of Justicehttp://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/B-9.01/Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (1982). April 17, 1982. Retrieved from the Department of Justicehttp://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html#h-38Code of Practice. (2006-2007). Alberta Press Council. Retrieved fromhttp://www.albertapresscouncil.ca/code_of_practice.htmlConstitution of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela. (1999). Retrieved fromhttp://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdfConstitution of the Republic of Bolivia. (2009). Retrieved fromhttp://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=189098CRTC Ownership Charts for Canadian Radio and Television. (2012). CRTC. Retrieved fromwebsite: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/ownership/eng/ownership.htmDaily Newspapers Paid Circulation levels: by Province. (2010). Newspapers Canada.Retrieved fromhttp://www.newspaperscanada.ca/daily-newspaper-paid-circulation-dataElection Act, Revised Statutes of Alberta. (2000, c. E-1). Retrieved from the Service Albertawebsite: http://www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfmpage=E01.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=9780779733903Elliott, M. (2012). Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA). June 1, 2012 letter byMr. Murray Elliott,AWNA President to Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA Executive Director. Retrieved from the FDAblog: http://www.foundationfordemocraticadvancement.blogspot.ca/2012/06/awna-adds-to-discourse-on-alberta.htmlFDA Canadian Provinces Electoral Finance Report. (2012). Foundation for DemocraticAdvancement. Retrieved fromhttp://www.slideshare.net/FDAdvancement/canadian-provincesfda-electoral-finance-audit-reportFDA Electoral Fairness Report on Alberta. (2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement.Retrieved fromhttp://www.slideshare.net/FDAdvancement/2012-alberta-electoral-fairness-report
  46. 46. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 46 of 56FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Bolivia. (2011). Foundation for Democratic Advancement.Retrieved from http://democracychange.org/?p=864FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Egypt. (2011). Foundation for Democratic Advancement.Retrieved from http://democracychange.org/?p=760FDA Electoral Fairness Report on France. (2011). Foundation for Democratic Advancement.Retrieved from http://democracychange.org/?p=906FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Venezuela. (2013). Foundation for Democratic Advancement.Retrieved from http://democracychange.org/2013/04/2012-fda-global-electoral-fairness-report-on-venezuela/Freedom and Democracy. (2012). Foundation for Democratic Advancement. Podcasts. Retrievedfrom http://democracychange.org/rss/podcast.rssFreedom of Speech in French Media. (2012). French Embassy in the United Kindom. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Freedom-of-speech-in-the-FrenchHarper v. Canada (Attorney General). (2004). Supreme Court of Canada. 1 S.C.R. 827, 2004 SCC33.Holmes, R. (2012). The Provost News. May 25, 2012 email to Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA ExecutiveDirector.Merrell, D. (2012). Alberta Weekly Ownership Information. Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association.Information received by the Foundation for Democratic Advancement June 4, 2012.New Zealand Press Council Principles. (2012). New Zealand Press Council. Retrieved fromhttp://www.presscouncil.org.nz/principles.phpOfficial Poll Results. (2013). Elections Alberta. Retrieved fromhttp://results.elections.ab.ca/wtResultsPGE.htmRadio Regulations. (1986). Retrieved from the Department of Justice Canadahttp://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR%2D86%2D982/Regulation No. 6 of the Organic Law Electoral Process Field of Propaganda During the ElectoralCampaign. (2012). Retrieved from the Venezuelan Embassy in Canada.Television Broadcasting Regulations. (1987). Retrieved from the Department of JusticeCanada http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-87-49/The Media Ownership Act. (1999). Retrieved from the World Intellectual PropertyOrganizations website http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=9667
  47. 47. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 47 of 56Wesley, J.J., & Colborne, M. (2005). ―Framing Democracy: Media Politics and the 2004Alberta Election.‖ presented at Annual Meeting of the Canadian PoliticalScience Association, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. Retrievedfrom http://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2005/Wesley,%20Jared.pdfAppendix 1Media Study MethodologyThe methodology is comprised of two major components: research and data collection. The FDA
  48. 48. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 48 of 56consulted Dr. Mark Wolfe, Communications Specialist from Mount Royal University on themethodology of its media study.ResearchThe FDA Study focuses on Alberta major media in the newspaper, radio, and television sectors(including online). This approach targets large sectors of the market in order to form a reasonablepicture of what occurred in the media during the Alberta Election. The FDA researched mediaownership in each sector, and selected media organizations with significant ownership. In thenewspaper and television sectors, due to large ownership concentrations and few media corporations,the FDA was able to identify significant media corporations. However, the radio sector proveddifficult due to the large number of ownership groups. The FDA chose two significant radiocorporations with 14.1% of the total Alberta radio market. There are twelve major Alberta radiocorporations.The FDA media study is limited to two corporations per media sector. Therefore, especially in thecase of the radio sector, the media results in terms of determining the percentage of electioncoverage per party are limited. The FDA accepts this limitation, and it will expand the number ofcorporations in future Alberta media studies especially in the radio sector.Data CollectionA five-person team, comprised of FDA members and guided by non-partisanship and objectivity,conducted the Study‘s data collection. Each member of the team is responsible for tracking aparticular news production whether a newspaper, radio show, or television news program. Inaddition, members record data into spreadsheets, and recheck data with media sources in case ofdiscrepancy with overall data entries. Completed data from each member is then compiled into amaster spreadsheet and used for analysis.In the case of newspapers, the FDA focuses on the following categoriesNumber of front page articles about party and/or candidate of partyNumber of front page articles about party and/or candidate of party which includes photo ofparty and/or candidates
  49. 49. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 49 of 56Number of non-front page articles about party and/or candidates of partyNumber of editorials about party and/or candidates of partyNumber of online front page articles about party and/or candidates of partyNumber of online non-front page articles about party and/or candidates of partyNumber of times online, party is mentioned and/or candidates of party. Track per onlinearticle (and not per number of times mentioned in article)In the case of radio and television, the FDA focuses on the following categoriesNumber of news stories directly about a party (and/or candidates of parties)Number of news interviews of Alberta party representatives/candidatesNumber of news stories indirectly about party or candidates of party (Anytime party orcandidates are indirectly mentioned)Number of online (television) news stories directly about a party (and/or candidates of aparty)For each news story, the FDA recorded one mark for direct (if directly about a party) and one markfor indirect mention; regardless of how many times the story mentioned the party. In the case ofradio, the Study considered public phone-in calls indirect mentions, and each phone-in callerresulted in a single recorded mark. If a caller mentioned two separate issues, two marks wererecorded, and if a caller mentioned several parties, several marks were given.The FDA chose not to track positive and negative news stories, because of the subjectivity involvedin determining these stories. What one candidate or party considers a positive news story, anothersegment of the voting population might perceive as a negative portrayal or having a negativeconnotation. Differences in values, beliefs, or ideology could cause this difference in perception. It ispossible that a poor poll result for a party may have the positive effect of motivating the partyscandidates and supporters to do more, or perhaps a positive poll result for a party may causecomplacency amongst the partys candidates and supporters.The FDA assumes that in a democracy, some, although limited, election coverage is better than noelection coverage. Obviously, a news story about a serious scandal by a partys leader may havesignificant electoral consequences; whereas a news story about the subjective interpretation of acandidates comments may have insignificant consequences. The PC Party and Wildrose AllianceParty, which received 65.2% of total election coverage, were the only parties to receive higherpercentage of popular vote than their percentage of media coverage.LimitationsThe FDA media study is limited to the last two weeks of election. Therefore, it is possible the studyresults may not correlate to the first two weeks of the election. However, this fact does not cancel outthe evidence of bias coverage in the last two weeks of the election. Although the Alberta election
  50. 50. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 50 of 56was characterized by a two party race, the FDA does not accept this as justification for the biasedcoverage, because the emphasis should be on parties having a reasonable opportunity to present theirpositions, policies, backgrounds etc. so that ultimately Alberta voters are reasonably informed of allthe possible choices. Was the two-party race a product of the biased media and/or unfair electoralfinance laws, or a product of the will of Albertans?The Study is also limited by covering only two major media corporations per media sector, andfocusing on media corporations from Calgary. It is possible that coverage from the Edmonton andrural areas may not correlate to the coverage of the Calgary area. The FDA assumes that the contentof news outlets in the Study is reasonably consistent with their corporations other Alberta newsoutlets. The FDA data from online news sources shows a correlation in media content between theEdmonton and rural areas and the Calgary area. To strengthen this correlation, the FDAacknowledges that future media studies should include news outlets from Calgary, Edmonton, andrural Alberta.Appendix 22012 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Political Content of Alberta MediaThis chapter focuses on Canada‘s media laws and the FDAs audit of them. Based on the concepts ofegalitarianism and political liberalism, the FDA audit team examined media laws according to the
  51. 51. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 51 of 56standard of impartial and balanced political coverage before, during and after a campaign period (seeDefinition of Key Terms and Research Methodology for further explanation). Table 2 below showsthe FDA‘s audit variables, their corresponding audit weights, and results:Table 20 Alberta Media Election Coverage Audit ResultsMedia Election CoverageSection Variables% SubsectionAudit WeightNumerical Sub-section AuditWeightAudit Re-sults% ResultsBroad and Balanced Elec-tion Coverage30% 3.0 0.0 0.0%Media Ownership 15% 1.5 0.0 0.0%Survey/Polls 5% 0.5 0.5 100%Freedom of Media 40% 4.0 4.0 100%Press Code of Prac-tice/Conduct10% 1.0 0.0 0.0%Variables from Other Sec-tionsn/a n/a n/a n/aTotal 100% 10 4.5 45%Broad and Balanced Political CoverageAudit Questions1) During the campaign period, is the media (private and public) required legally to pub-lish/broadcast broad/balanced coverage of registered candidates and parties?2) Outside of the campaign period, is the media legally required to publish/broadcast pluralis-tic/balanced coverage of registered parties?3) If the media is legally required to publish/disseminate broad and balanced political coverage, arethere reasonable monitoring and penalty mechanisms in place?Legislative ResearchThere are no provincial requirements that radio and television broadcasters have to be non-partisanand balanced in their electoral coverage (Radio Regulations, Article 6, 1986; TelevisionBroadcasting Regulations, 1987).Freedom of the press and a non-enforceable Code of Practice through the Alberta Press CouncilAlberta guides media conduct (Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982; Code of Practice, 2006/2007).Media Ownership Concentration LawsAudit Questions
  52. 52. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 52 of 561) If there are media concentration laws, are they effective in causing a plurality of political dis-course?2) If there is no legal requirement of media plurality, impartiality, and balanced content or mediaownership concentration laws, are there any other laws that are effective in causing a plurality ofpolitical discourse before and during an election period?Legislative ResearchAlberta has no media concentrations laws, which would support plurality of electoral discourse.FDA researchers could find no media concentration laws. (In Norway, France, and Bolivia, there aremedia ownership concentrations laws that support the plurality of electoral discourse (FDA ElectoralFairness Audit Report on Bolivia, 2011; FDA Electoral Fairness Report on France, 2011; The MediaOwnership Act, 1999).Surveys/PollsAudit Question1) Are there reasonable public disclosure requirements on surveys and polls in terms of theirmethodology, data, and funder?Legislative ResearchElection surveys must include information regarding who sponsored the survey, who conducted thesurvey and on what date, the population that the sample was drawn from, the number of peoplepolled, and the margin of error (Election Act, Article 135.2).Survey conductors must clarify if the survey does not employ recognized statistical methods(Election Act, Article 135.3).During the blackout period 24 hours before the election, the press cannot print or broadcastpreviously unreleased election survey results (Election Act, Article 135.4). (In Bolivia, electionpropaganda including polls and surveys are not allowed 48 hours prior to the Election Day (FDAElectoral Fairness Report on Bolivia, 2011). In France, there is no commercial politicaladvertisement 3 months prior to an election period and election propaganda during a campaignperiod must allow candidates adequate time to respond (FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report onFrance, 2011). In Egypt (under Mubarak), polls and surveys are not allowed 7 days prior to theElection Day (FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Egypt, 2011).At any time, the media can transmit survey results previously released to the public prior to the‗blackout period‘ (Election Act, Article 135.4).Freedom of the MediaAudit Question
  53. 53. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 53 of 561) Does constitutional or legislative law establish freedom of the media (including journalists)?Legislative ResearchTelevision broadcast licensees cannot broadcast anything which contravenes the law or exposesanyone to discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability. Inaddition, licensees cannot broadcast anything false or misleading (Television BroadcastingRegulations, Article 5, 1987).Radio broadcasters must maintain a program log for one year, which will contain content and subjectinformation for each program or advertisement aired. This log must be available to a commissionupon request (Radio Regulations, Article 8, 1986).There is freedom of the Alberta press, radio, and broadcasters (Charter on Rights and Freedoms,1982).There are no legislative restrictions on the journalistic profession in carrying out work.The FDA could find no legislative provisions that guarantee journalists‘ access to governmentsources, representatives, or officials.Press Code of Practice/ConductAudit Questions1) Does a Code of Practice/Conduct that supports impartial, balanced electoral coverage guide thepress?2) If a Code of Practice/Conduct that supports impartial, balanced electoral coverage guides thepress, is the Code of Practice/Conduct enforceable?Legislative ResearchFreedom of the press and a non-enforceable Code of Practice through the Alberta Press CouncilAlberta guides media conduct in Alberta (Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982; Code of Practice,2006/2007).There are no provisions in the Alberta Press Council‘s Code of Practice that require non-partisan andbalanced electoral coverage (Code of Practice, 2006/2007).The Alberta Press Council‘s Code of Practice has provisions for a right of reply, but the Council doesnot enforce the Code. Council does not monitor press companies, rather, assumes they have theirown codes of practice and does not dictate what to publish (About Us, 2013).Analysis
  54. 54. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 54 of 56Based on legislated freedom of the media and disclosure requirements on survey/polls, Albertascored 45 percent for electoral fairness in media legislation by the FDA. FDA matrices weighfreedom of expression the highest due to its relevance to democracy. In the media section, freedomof the media represents 40 percent of the total score and Alberta received full percentage points inthis area. However, FDA Freedom and Democracy podcasts revealed that freedom alone cannotguarantee democracy (Freedom and Democracy, 2012). Without monitors to ensure equality,freedom of the media will allow the most powerful and wealthy individuals and organizations todominate the political process. The FDA concludes that Alberta does not monitor freedom of themedia in order to guarantee equality.There is no legislative requirement in Alberta for impartial, balanced or pluralistic political mediacoverage. There are no media concentration laws or equivalent to encourage a pluralistic mediasector and prevent significant ownership concentrations. There are no public subsidy measures topromote unbiased campaign coverage, and ultimately, balanced electoral discourse. The AlbertaPress Councils Code of Practice does not mandate impartial/balanced political or campaigncoverage. These findings suggest that Albertas media is susceptible to partisan, imbalanced, andlimited political and campaign coverage. A media network with significant ownership rights intelevision, radio, and the press could dominate electoral discourse, just as a media ownershipoligopoly with similar viewpoints could do likewise. Alberta legislation allows for this possibility, asdemonstrated in the 2004 Alberta Provincial Election. Election coverage mentioned the theProgressive Conservatives 58% of the time, the Liberals 16% of the time, and the NDP only 12% ofthe time (Wesley & Colborne, 2005).The FDA argues that an electorate that is informed in the platforms of all relevant political partieswill greatly impact the outcome of the election. It is essential for Albertas democracy to have, atminimum, balanced and pluralistic campaign coverage. There are public policy options available asillustrated by media ownership concentration laws in Norway, France, and Bolivia, or legalrequirements for impartial political coverage and public measures to ensure fair and balancedcampaign coverage in Venezuela (FDA Electoral Fairness Report on France, 2011; FDA ElectoralFairness Report on Bolivia, 2011; FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Venezuela, 2013).Appendix 32012 Alberta Provincial Election Results1) PC Party 61 seats, 43.89% (567, 191 votes)2) Wildrose Alliance Party 17 seats, 34.35% (442, 467 votes)
  55. 55. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 55 of 563) Alberta Liberal Party 5 seats, 9.88% (127, 662 votes)4) Alberta NDP 4 seats, 9.84% (126, 742 votes)5) Alberta Party, 0 seats, 1.36% (17, 171 votes)6) Evergreen Party of Alberta 0 seats, .39% (5, 079 votes)7) Alberta Social Credit 0 seats, 0% (294 votes)8) Communist Party-Alberta 0 seats, 0% (210 votes)9) Separation Party of Alberta 0 seats, 0% (68 votes)(Official Poll Results, 2013).FDA Media Study TeamFDA ResearchersMr. Michael Fabris, Bachelor of Accounting, Brock University.Mr. Stephen Garvey, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia andMaster of Philosophy in Environment and Development, University of Cambridge.
  56. 56. ______________________________________________________________________________Foundation for Democratic Advancement | 2012 FDA Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election April 21, 2013 R1 Page 56 of 56FDA Data Collection TeamMs. Sam Casselman, 1styear Political Science and Law and Society, University of Calgary.Mr. Michael Fabris, Bachelor of Accounting, Brock University.Mr. Stephen Garvey, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia andMaster of Philosophy in Environment and Development, University of Cambridge.Mr. Tom Kerwin, Master of Environmental Studies, York University.Mrs. Liza Valentine, Master of Architecture, University of Calgary.Report WriterMr. Stephen Garvey, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of British Columbia andMaster of Philosophy in Environment and Development, University of Cambridge.Report ReviewersMr. Shane Donovan, 4thyear Political Science, University of Calgary.Mr. Michael Fabris, Bachelor of Accounting, Brock University.Mr. Tom Kerwin, Master of Environmental Studies, York University.Mr. Dale Monette, Bachelor of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan and Master of Accounting(in progress), University of Saskatchewan.Mrs. Lindsay Tetlock, Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, University of Calgary and Masterof Arts in Historical Studies, University of Calgary.Mr. Mark Schmidt, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Calgary.

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