Media Study of the 2012 Alberta Election

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.