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The Mediawatch unit of Democracywatch observes the performance of media, political coverage by the electronic media and human rights situation since the last Caretaker Government was formed prior to the eighth national parliamentary election 2001. 

In this process the unit regularly has been monitoring the main news items of the 3 domestic TV channels (both state-owned and private) and a state owned radio. These channels are Bangladesh Television BTV, Channel-i and ATN Bangla and Bangladesh Betar. 

A picture of political coverage of the ruling party and the opposition during the last three months from January to March 2003 will be evident as given below:

BTV -state owned television gave maximum priority to the government party that was 38.29% of total news time where as the opposition received 0.25% of total news time in its 8:00 pm news. Prime Minister Khaleda Zia alone received 12.63% of its total news time. Out of the ruling party's coverage Prime Minister received 32.97% during the last three months. Electronic media gave emphasis to the elections' news of Union Parishad and Municipalities. It received 2.49% coverage of total news time.

BTV also aired human rights news at this period that was 0.64%. Commercial advertisement took a major portion of its news time that was 11.26%.

In the Cahnnel-i, a private television channel ruling party received second highest coverage 21.88% of its total news time aired at 7.15 pm while the opposition party received 1.90%. During the period commercial advertisement got highest coverage that was 23.64% while it was 11.60% during the last year. State news ranked third in the Channel-i and it was 21.47% of its total news time. Prime Minister and Opposition Leader received 8.90% and 0.51% coverage respectively during the period. In their own party coverage Prime Minister received 40.67% and Opposition Leader received 27.46% coverage. Channel-i also aired news regarding UP elections and human rights.


In ATN Bangla, another private television channel state news got highest coverage that was 29.70% of the total news time in its evening news at 7.00 pm. Ruling party received 23.56%. And opposition received 2.44% coverage that is the highest coverage received out of the three TV channels. Prime Minister alone obtained 10.30% where opposition Leader got a mere 0.93% of the total news time.

Elections news of UP and municipalities took a slot of 2.8% and human rights news obtained 1.98% of its total news time during the last three months.

A state owned radio Bangladesh Betar gave maximum priority (42.59%) to the ruling party in its news aired at 8.30 pm through the last three months.

In this period Prime Minister received 25.06% of the total news time. Bangladesh Betar allocated 1.06% news time to the UP and Municipalities elections' news. International news got a major part (24.21%) of its total news time aired at 8.30 pm during the said period.

For further information feel free to contact us:
Democracywatch, 15 Eskaton Garden, Ramna, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Phone: +88 (02) 9344225/9344226, Fax: 88 (02) 9330405