Editor's Blog - How we work, how we make decisions, how we serve Canadians.

Jennifer McGuire

General Manager and Editor in Chief

Update: Tracking our coverage of the B.C. election

Categories: Canada, Journalism, Politics

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As we mentioned in our previous Editor's Blog entry about the British Columbia election, CBC News regularly monitors its election coverage to ensure we are fair to all parties. This is part of our promise as stated in our Journalistic Standards and Practices. We also promised to update you about our coverage after the election.

As we now know, 28 days of vigorous campaigning in British Columbia ended in a surprise. Our coverage of the two major parties measured between the dropping of the writs on April 16 and the closing of the polls on May 14 was even-handed throughout. That even-handedness was reflected in all stations and programs.

Election coverage on all B.C. stations totalled just under 76 hours (during the final week, the fourth, we did some 16 hours of election coverage. That's about four hours less that the third week and about the same as the first week). Of that, just over 32% was about the Liberals and about 31% about the NDP. About 8% went to the Greens and 7% to the Conservatives. All percentages showed only small variations throughout the campaign.

Looking at another measurement, candidates, managers and those directly affiliated with the Liberals were heard/seen in a little less than 18% of our coverage (that amounts to about 9.5 hours of broadcast time), the NDP in a little more than 18%, the Greens in a little more than 7% and the Conservatives in about 6%. Again, all percentages were roughly consistent throughout the campaign.

Regarding the party leaders' face/voice time (excluding the leaders' debate) the NDP's Adrian Dix was seen/heard for almost 2 hrs and 55 minutes; the Liberal's Christy Clark 2 hrs and 23 minutes; the Green's Jane Sterk for 1 hr and 30 minutes; and the Conservative's John Cummins for just over 1 hr.

The dominant issue in the last week and the top issue throughout the campaign was the political process itself. That along with energy/power projects and the economy occupied the top three spots with roughly the same amount of time devoted to each. The environment was a somewhat distant fourth followed closely by employment and education.

David Studer, Director
Journalism Standards and Practices
CBC News

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