Professor Caroline de Oteyza Regarding Media Coverage of the Candidates in Venezuelan Presidential Elections

David Smilde

In this Spanish language interview, Caroline de Oteyza, Director of the Centro de Investigación de la Comunicación (Center for Communications Research) at the Universidad Católica Ándres Bello (UCAB), and lead rearcher in the media study of the UCAB’s Monitor Electoral Presidencial, talks with me about their research. They have found that Henrique Capriles has consistently received more media coverage than Hugo Chávez in newspapers, television and radio (see their most recent research report here. Charts summarizing their findings start on p.5).  She suspects this shows a superiority of Capriles’ media team. Not only is there more coverage of Capriles but it is more consistent from day to day, week to week. This suggests that the Capriles campaign is sending out several press releases daily whereas the Chavez campaign is not. She says these data do not contradict the perception that the Chávez government dominates the media because the fact that Capriles has received ample media attention does not mean this attention is positive. Professor de Oteyza talks about Chávez’s use of “cadenas” (mandatory broadcasts on all channels). She says that while very few people sit down to watch them from beginning to end, they make Chávez omnipresent and everyone ends up listening to them at least in part. [Note to journalists: Please feel free to quote any of the video interviews on this blog.]