Exposure of Population to Mass Media

Release Date: 

Thursday, March 8, 2001

Radio still the most effective media to reach Filipinos; TV fast emerging

Results of the survey revealed that the proportion of radio listeners sufferred a slight setback from 1989 to 1994. Nevertheless, radio still reasserted its supremacy by posting the highest proportion of exposure among the 8 forms of mass media covered by the survey (television, video tape, movie, comics, magazine, newspaper and books).

Of 1994's 50.4 million Filipinos aged 10 years old and over, approximately 8 out of 10 (80.8 percent) or 40.7 million were exposed to radio. This was, however, 1 percentage point lower than the 81.8 percent (35.0 million out of 42.8 million) recorded five years earlier. See Tables A1 and A2.

In 1994, the proportion of radio listeners in urban areas was marked at 81.6 percent, 1.7 percentage points lower than the 79.9 percent posted in rural areas. Moreover, the urban and rural propo


rtions declined by 2.9 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively, from their 1989 levels. The higher reduction in urban areas caused the urban-rural disparity to close in by 2.6 percentage points from 4.3 percentage points in 1989.

Meanwhile, the popularity of television continued to rise in the 90's as evidenced by the impressive 8.7 percentagepoint expansion in televiewers (the highest among the 8 mass media forms) - from 48.0 percent in 1989 to 56.7 percent in 1994. The increasing trend was reflected in both the urban (1.7 percentage points) and rural areas (5.8 percentage points).


Video tape watchers outproportion moviegoers

The proportion of household population exposed to video tapes rose by 2.4 percentage points from 11.7 percent in 1989 to 14.1 percent in 1994. This pushed video tape (7th position) ahead of movies (8th spot) in the 1994 ranking of the mass media forms the Filipinos are most exposed to.

The uptrend was observed in rural areas (3.1 percentage points) and slightly in urban (0.4 percentage point). Rural dwellers have slowly caught up with their urban counterparts in this category as shown in the 2.7 percentage point decline in urban-rural differential, from 7.2 percentage points in 1989 to 4.5 percentage points in 1994.

The rising popularity of TV and video took its toll on the movies. A 4.6 percentage point slowdown was observed in the proportion of population watching movies. From 11.8 percent in 1989, the figure plunged to 7.2 percent in 1994. The slowdown was more evident in urban (8.0 percentage points) than in rural areas (3.2 percentage points).


Print media exposure diminishes as audio-visual forms become more popular

Except for books, which posted a very minimal increase in readership among household population 10 years old and over, all other forms of print media (newspaper, magazine and comics) exhibited decelerating trends.

The proportion of book readers in the country inched up by a very minimal 0.3 percentage point from 35.8 percent in 1989 to 36.1 percent in 1994. While the proportion decelerated by 4.0 percentage points in the urban areas, books showed strength in rural areas, gaining by as much as 2.0 percentage points.

Among the printed media, books are still highly regarded by Filipinos. In fact, no region posted a proportion lower than 30 percent. Refer to Tables A1and A2 for more details.

The proliferation of newspapers throughout the country did not help much in encouraging people to read newspapers. In fact, newspaper readership among Filipinos decreased by 3.2 percentage points, from 33.0 percent in 1989 to 29.8 percent in 1994. Surprisingly, the reduction was very eminent in the urban areas (11.9 percentage points) than in rural areas (2.0 percentage points). This is probably because for convenience many urban dwellers relied on television and radio news programs for latest news updates.

Survey results also showed that magazine readership throughout the country plummetted by 8.0 percentage points from 22.4 percent in 1989 to only 14.4 percent in 1994. In urban areas, the proportion of magazine readers was almost cut into half (15.4 percentage points) as compared to 4.3 percentage points reduction in rural areas.

Among the printed media, comics suffered the biggest setback (15.6 percentage points) from 38.3 percent in 1989 to 22.7 percent in 1994. The reduction was very high in both the urban (18.6 percentage points) and rural areas (14.0 percentage points). The above findings showed that, indeed, more and more Filipinos are shifting to television and video tapes at the expense of printed materials as well as movies. See Tables A1 and A2 .


CAR leads gainers but NCR continues to top in newspaper readership

In 1989, almost 8 out of 10 (78.8 percent) Metro Manilans read newspaper. Five years later, NCR posted a 9.7 percentage point slow-down but continued to top this category with a 69.1 percent readership, or approximately 4.7 million out of 6.8 million household population 10 years old and over. In contrast, only about one in every ten persons (10.0 percent) in ARMM reads newspaper. Southern Tagalog, Cen-tral Luzon and CAR trailed NCR with 38.3, 37.2 and 30.8 percent, respectively. Slowdown in newspaper readership was likewise registered in 9 other regions. Southern Mindanao topped the list after losing 10.1 percentage points.

On the other hand, CAR registered a 5.5 percentage point improvement. Three other regions (Southern Tagalog, Ilocos, and Eastern Visayas) had very minimal increases ranging from 0.1 to 0.9 percentage point.


Cagayan Valley leads in magazine category

The survey also revealed that the popularity of magazine has waned in all regions of the country. In spite of the 6.8 percentage- point slowdown, Cagayan Valley (22.0 percent) dislodged NCR (20.9 percent) from the top position in this category in 1994. NCR suffered the biggest reduction of 16.4 percentage points to place second, while Bicol sank by 1.1 percentage points, the lowest reduction nationwide. Other regions which submitted double digit losses were Southern Mindanao (13.1 percentage points), Ilocos (11.6 percentage points), and Northern Mindanao (10.9 percentage points), and Central Mindanao (10.3 percentage points).

Again, ARMM had the lowest percentage of magazine readers at 9.1 percent.


Bicolanos continue to patronize comics

Like magazine, comics is fast losing its popularity among Filipinos in all regions of the country. In 1994, Bicolanos again manifested their strong preference for comics by topping this category at 33.1 percent. However, this figure was 16.9 percentage points short of the figure it registered in 1989, when 1 in every 2 Bicolanos (50.0 percent) read comics. At the other extreme, comics was least popular in Northern Mindanao (10.2 percent).

Southern Mindanao posted the biggest reduction (23.6 percent-age points) and CAR, the lowest (3.5 percentage points).


CAR climbs to top in book-reading

Residents in CAR (43.1 percent) replaced NCR as the top book lovers after posting a 10.1 percentage point increase, from 33.0 percent in 1989. NCR and Northern Mindanao settled for the next two positions with 41.2 percent and 40.7 percent, respectively.

Aside from CAR, seven other regions registered gains ranging from 0.7 percentage point (Central Mindanao) to 6.1 percentage points (Cagayan Valley.) See Table A2.


Cagayan Valley outranks Southern Mindanao in radio leadership

Despite a negligible 0.1 percentage point reduction in its proportion of radio listeners (from 86.9 percent in 1989 to 86.8 percent in 1994), Cagayan Valley grabbed the lead in this category as 1989 leader Southern Mindanao suffered the biggest loss of 8.6 percentage points, from 89.4 percent in 1989 to 80.8 percent in 1994 (6th nationwide). The rest of the regions posted changes in proportion within the ( 4 range.

Closely trailing Cagayan Valley were Western Visayas (85.8 percent) and Central Visayas (85.1 percent) while ARMM posted the lowest proportion of 67.4 percent.


NCR still tops in TV viewership; Bicol surges by 23.5 percentage points

NCR continued to lead the country's 15 regions in terms of TV viewership. In 1994, only NCR posted a negative change (0.3 percentage point) from 91.4 percent in 1989 to 91.1 percent in 1994. But its 1994 level was 10.5 percentage points ahead of second runner Central Luzon (80.6 percent). Another 9.9 percentage points behind was Ilocos (70.7 percent) which edged out Southern Tagalog (64.1 percent) for 3rd place.


Video tape shows strength in Eastern Visayas

Surprisingly, Eastern Visayas reasserted its leadership in video tape category by submitting the highest prevalence rate of 20.3 percent in 1994. This was, however, 0.8 percentage point lower than the figure it registered in 1989 (21.2 percent), also the highest during that year. This behavior in Eastern Visayas could be explained by the fact that video tapes are being substituted for movies. This phenomenon is attested by the very low proportion of moviegoers in this region.

NCR and Bicol were tied at second spot with 18.9 percent each. Except for three other regions which showed very minimal declines (Central Visayas, Northern and Southern Mindanao), all the other regions registered increases ranging from 1.4 percentage points in Cagayan Valley to 7.9 percentage points in Bicol and Western Visayas, the highest increase nationwide.


NCR again tops in movies; ARMM a surprise second

Notwithstanding the waning popularity of movies in NCR, as reflected in the 9.3 percentage point deceleration (the highest nationwide) in the proportion of moviegoers, 17.4 percent of Metro Manilans aged 10 years and over who trooped to moviehouses pushed NCR on top of this category during the last five years. ARMM stole the limelight by placing second behind NCR after cornering 10.3 percent movie patrons of reference population.

Movies fared poorly in all the other regions, registering declines ranging from 0.8 percentage point in CAR to 7.8 percentage points in Southern Mindanao. The resurgence of cable TV stations and the rising popularity of video tapes in various parts of the country have probably contributed to the weak performance of movies throughout the country.

Furthermore, Eastern Visayas, the surprise leader in the video tape category was ranked last in terms of proportion of moviegoers (2.1 percent). This supports previous findings which indicates a shift from movies to video tapes in this region.


Population not exposed to mass media drops by 0.8 percentage point

Despite the declines posted in exposure to five of the eight previously mentioned mass media forms, namely; comics, magazine, movie, newspaper and radio, the proportion of population not exposed to any of these 8 forms declined, albeit minimally (0.8 percentage point). Surprisingly, the increase was slightly higher in urban (1.7 percentage point) than in rural areas (0.7 percentage point).

In NCR, only 1.8 percent or about 1 in every 50 persons aged 10 years and over were not exposed to any mass media form. The highest proportion not exposed was registered in ARMM at 20.5 percent.

Meanwhile, only four regions (Southern Mindanao, NCR, Central Luzon and Central Mindanao) registered increases in the proportion of population not exposed to mass media.


Source: 1994 Functional Literacy and Mass Media Survey

                  National Statistics Office