Voters rely on TV news,
not campaign ads

A new public survey has found that most people rely on news reports rather than campaign advertisements in determining which parties they will support in upcoming elections.

Conducted by the Jakarta-based pollster Pol-Tracking Institute, the survey, which was released on Tuesday, showed that 75 percent of respondents said that mass media was highly influential in their political choices.

Pol-Tracking conducted the study from Dec. 16 to Dec. 23 last year, involving 1,200 respondents from the country’s 33 provinces, with a margin of error of 2.83 percent.

Pol-Tracking executive director Hanta Yuda said that the most influential aspect of media was not political advertising, but rather media coverage on political parties.

“I urge parties to not spend too much on political advertisements, as news is much more influential,” he told reporters after the launch of the survey at the Morrisey Hotel in Central Jakarta.

According to the findings, the ruling Democratic Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) are two of the most frequently reported-on parties in the country. The media, however, mainly shed negative light on the two parties, with the PKS receiving a great deal of negative coverage due to the beef import bribery scandal implicating some of the party’s top leaders and their polygamous lifestyles. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, suffered from bad press throughout last year in relation to many major graft cases, resulting in public perception of it as the most corrupt party. 

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