The National Commission of Elections has again found that the Jornal da Madeira was not impartial in its coverage of the National Legislative Elections held in June 2011. Its coverage was favourable to the PSD in terms of space attributed. The PSD was the only party to recieve first page coverage (11 times). In terms of opinion pieces the Commission found that:
The Socialist Party is mentioned in 65 articles, 63 considered unfavourable and 2 neutral; It is the target of six cartoons, all considered unfavourable;
The PSD is mentioned in 14 articles, 8 favourable, 5 unfavourable (Jardim maintins a running battle with his party on the mainland. All references to the Madeira party are highly favourable); 5 unfavourable cartoons (the targets all belonging to the mainland) and one neutral;
The CDS is mentioned in 9 articles, 8 unfavourable and 1 neutral and one cartoon, unfavourable;
The Communist-Green Alliance is mentioned in six articles, 5 unfavourable and one neutral and one unfavourable cartoon;
The LEft Bloc is mentioned in five articles, 4 unfavourable and 1 neutral and 3 cartoons, all unfavourable;
The New Democracy Party is mentioned in 5 articles and one cartoon, all unfavourable;
The Labour Party is referenced in two articles and two cartoons, all unfavourable
The Earth Party is mentioned in two articles, unfavourable;
The remaining parties are mentioned in one article, unfavourable-
This result is hardly surprising since all the people who write political opinion pieces in the Jornal are PSD militants. The attacks against mainland PSD figures are consistent with the local PSD propaganda and aim to strengthen the local PSD presence within the national parliament).
The report has been sent to the local Public Prosecutor's Office to install criminal proceedings, as it has done on at least three occasions in the past. The local Public Prosecutor's Office has in the past systematically thrown out the cases, despite all the obvious and undeniable evidence. These decisions are currently on appeal.
The Jornal da Madeira is publicly funded to the tune of four million Euros per year and is handed out for free to the population. Its print run is hugely increased during the election periods.