Entitled Eleksyon 2013, GMA’s special coverage is set to run a full 28 hours from 4:30am on election day until the morning after. GMA’s news teams will be reporting from a total of 47 strategically selected live remote points throughout Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao including the GMA originating regional stations Cebu, Davao, Dagupan, Ilocos, Naga, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and satellite stations Bacolod and General Santos.
The voting public was introduced to state of the art election-related news delivery when GMA utilized touchscreen, virtual screen, and immersive 3D graphics and the hologram effect, all powered by Vizrt, for its coverage of the 2010 Presidential elections – a first in Philippine television.
This year, taking it to the next level, GMA launches the highly sophisticated Vizrt Immersive Graphics System interfaced with the Mosys camera tracking system. Powered by the Viz Virtual Studio System, this interface creates a more dynamic presentation of information, context packages, and real time immersive graphics, enabling camera movements such as panning, tilting, zooming, and even allowing anchors to walk around the graphics. CNN used the same tracking system during their 2012 U.S. Presidential election coverage.
The Network also purchased 10 Ibis Pro, a digital mobile news gathering system. The equipment results in rapid deployment thereby expediting transmission and exchanges of information between the base and the reporters from wherever point of the country they may be.
Live reports and information gathered will be sent to GMA’s election hub: a two storey set that took weeks to construct. The Eleksyon 2013 set includes a massive data and call center desk and an all-new social media center – with a Google Hangout that will allow the public to engage in discussions with moderators and guests throughout the coverage – in addition to the traditional anchors’ and talk areas. Adjacent to it, a fully equipped election war room to handle coordination among hundreds of staffers has been prepared.
GMA also utilizes social media for wider coverage of the mid-term elections. To visualize the social media climate during the elections, the Network launches two different web applications powered by Mass Relevance, a U.S.-based “social engagement platform that discovers, filters, and displays real-time content anywhere.”
First is the Kandidato Buzz Index that will help the Network visualize election related social media buzz online—determining via Facebook and Twitter as to who’s the most talked about candidate at the same time sifting through a myriad of social content delivering only the most relevant information. Kandidato Buzz Index can be accessed through http://www.gmanews.tv/kandidatobuzzindex.
The data gathered will then be translated for TV through Viz Social TV system, another state-of the-art technology recently acquired by GMA for the purpose of the elections—another first in the Philippines.
Second is the Voting Experience Poll accessible through http://www.gmanews.tv/votingexperiencepoll. For this web application, people are invited to choose among a number of options as to how their voting experience went: was it orderly, was there a problem with the PCOS machine, was there an electricity outage, etc..
In 2010, GMA led all media organizations in providing a consistently fast, accurate and uninterrupted count as soon as the first PCOS machines transmitted the numbers. Viewers can expect even more from GMA this 2013, the network will be able to provide information as to how each national candidate performs – not only nationwide, but as far down as city level.
On election day itself, GMA Network will be connected to COMELEC’s mirror server — which guarantees immediate vote results from the polls.