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Media Watch

Media Monitoring of the Upcoming National Parliamentary Elections in Bangladesh

(Print, television, radio, and internet)

Background and Rationale The upcoming 10th Parliamentary Election is one of the most talked about topic for Bangladeshi people. It has become even more interesting and important as the caretaker government issue remains a stalemate with opposing political parties taking different positions. So everyones attention will be there to see if the country can manage to finally go through a free , fair and neutral election. No doubt, elections are among the strongest pillars of a democracy. It is particularly important for a flourishing democracy like Bangladesh, because the nature of politics is highly conflicting and violence and discriminations are most frequent features. Over the period, Bangladesh has seen a growing civil society and media, which play a most important role in terms of promoting transparency, accountability, good governance and peoples participation the basic pillars of democratic governance. Today, Bangladeshs civil society is recognized as vibrant and it has been playing a crucial role in promoting democratic culture at all spheres of public life. On the other hand, a couple of dozens of private TV channels are constantly watching citizens and public activities that affect life. Through ups and downs, media is much powerful and considered to be a major pillar of the democracy. Often, civil society and media together plays a monitoring role on various issues of governance. Keeping the upcoming parliamentary elections in mind, media monitoring can be an effective tool to measure the openness and transparency of the overall electoral system. Steps Towards Development (Steps) is a civil society organization working for the promotion and protection of human rights, gender equality and good governance in Bangladesh for the last couple of decades. It has a strong linkage with different print and electronic media, through which it undertakes different campaign and advocacy initiatives at national and local level. Besides, it also has its regular monthly and quarterly publications on issues of gender, human rights and good governance. Steps is the secretariat of Gender in Media Forum (GIMF), a forum of 128 individuals and 15 organizations that works for creating a gender-sensitive media and
Steps Towards Development, 14 August 2013

positive portrayal of women, disseminate information and message on gender and rights issues and raise collective voice and take action against any kinds of discrimination. GIMF is an active campaigner of gender sensitive media policy with practice. Steps can effectively utilize this forum for media monitoring. Objective Keeping in mind the importance of upcoming elections in Bangladeshs future democracy, Steps is keen to do a media monitoring with a view to track a number of things Frequency of all electoral coverage across the chosen sample of print, television, radio, and internet sources; Most frequently covered/referenced electoral themes (e.g. candidate profiles, party platforms, corruption, violence, BEC capacity, etc.); Balance and tone of coverage between the participating political parties and candidates; Quality of electoral coverage Key personnel Team Leader-1 He/she will supervise overall project activities. He/she will be an expert and have proven track record in media analysis, monitoring and reporting. He/she will be accountable for final reporting Project Coordinator -2 (1 for print and internet, 1 for electronic) He/she will ensure overall implementation and monitoring of the project. He/she will be responsible for all kind of reporting and presentation. He/she will be an expert and have experience in media analysis, monitoring and reporting. He/she will be responsible for sending regular reports to the media and organizing press conferences. Project Officers-10 (electronic media-5, print media-4, and internet-1) He/she will watch/scan, document and preserve electoral coverage of selected media. He/she will prepare individual draft report (manually and electronically). He/she will support for sending media reports, support to organize press briefings etc. He/she must have experience in media monitoring. Data Entry Operator-4(electronic media-2, print media and internet-2)
Steps Towards Development, 14 August 2013

He/she will document and preserve coverage of selected media electronically He/she will have to be capable of compose, make-up and familiar with updated data entry software.

Data Analyst-1 He/she will be responsible for compilation and comparative analysis. He/she will prepare graph/charts and other statistical formats for enriching the report. He/she must have hands-on experience of working with media monitoring project. Implementation Design First of all, we will select leading and widely circulated/viewed daily newspapers, electronic media and news agencies. A team will be formed with existing and newly recruited staff members. Then three monitoring formats will be developed for three different media: print, electronic media and internet. For electronic media, focus will be on prime time news and views. Print media watch will focus news, editorials, pictures etc. Each team member will prepare their individual reports manually and electronically. Project coordinators will do both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the media coverage, prepare reports and ensure publishing those in the media in weekly and monthly basis. Press conferences will be arranged regularly. Final report will be published and disseminated among relevant stakeholders. The proposed print and electronic media and internet sources cover all 64 districts of Bangladesh. It is difficult to find accurate circulation of the daily newspapers and electronic media of Bangladesh due to lack of updated and authentic data. A website shows that the circulation of the Daily Prothom Alo, which is known to be the most popular newspaper in Bangladesh, was 4,35,000 on 23 June 2013. However, most of the newspapers have online version and thus accessible globally. On the other hand, some of the TV channels can be viewed from outside Bangladesh. From our general perception we have chosen those that are more or less recognized by the audience. Proposed electronic media 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Bangladesh Television NTV Bangla Vision Ekushey TV Channel I

Steps Towards Development, 14 August 2013

6. Ekattor TV 7. ATN News 8. Somoy TV 9. Bangladesh Betar 10. Radio Today Proposed print media 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Daily Prothom Alo Daily Kaler Kantha Daily Ittefaq Daily Jugantor Daily Samakal Daily Borer Kagoj The Daily Star New Age

Proposed website/online news agency 1. 2. 3. poriborton Activities included for print media and online news 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Scanning news, editorials, photos, cartoons, special editorials etc. Content analysis Documentation manually and electronically Preparing of reports on daily, weekly and monthly basis Send press release weekly and monthly Organize press conference Final report preparing and sharing

Activities included for electronic media 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Count prime time news/bulletins Documentation of findings manually and electronically Preparing of reports on daily, weekly and monthly basis Send press release weekly and monthly Organize press conference Prepare final report and sharing

Steps Towards Development, 14 August 2013

Project duration The total duration of the project is expected from 1 October 2013 to 31 December 2013. However, one or two more weeks will be needed for final reporting and final publication of the report. Budget BDT 4,071,870 (for detailed breakdown please see the attached budget) Experience Steps does not have direct experience of handling media monitoring projects. But some of its existing staff members have hands-on experience of working in media and media monitoring projects. New staff members with relevant expertise and experience will be recruited.

Steps Towards Development, 14 August 2013