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Viernes, 29 Marzo 2019 20:24

A Mirage of Change: Visibility of Politicians on TVE during the 2015 and 2016 General Elections

Escrito por José Mª García de Madariaga, José Antonio Navarro Moreno, Agustín Olmo López

The use of strategies to enhance the media visibility of politicians intensifies above all at election time and their focus is chiefly television due to the fact that it still has the greatest power to sway voters. Thus, based on a content analysis of the evening news on Televisión Española (TVE) and 18 semi-structured in-depth interviews with professionals working at the Spanish public broadcaster, the airtime that politicians were given was established to assess whether it had fulfilled its obligation as regards independence and pluralism at two crucial moments for Spanish politics: the period prior to the election calls, the pre-campaign periods and the official campaigns before the general elections held on 20 December 2015 and 26 June 2016. Both were unique in their own way: on the one hand, the debut of new political parties with the potential to win a large number of seats in Parliament; and, on the other, despite the fact that in just six months the party in power had lost its absolute majority and there were still no visible signs of change at TVE, it is still worth examining the variations in news treatment prior to both elections.

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