Presidential Election and the Media: The Test of Time

The various arms of the media reorganised themselves and worked tirelessly before, during and after the October 07 election, making sure they feature prominently on the new political checkered board.

The media, they say, is the eye of society, they cry when society cries and laugh when it laughs. The October 07 Presidential election was another golden opportunity for the various arms of the media: newspaper, radio, television and the fast growing difficult-to-control social media to project their audience capturing ability in the true image of the event itself.

The Presidential election, one would imagine is the summit of all elections. Media organs were all aware of this and so equally worked out the summit of their programmes. While maintaining their editorial lines except for the social media which is a free-for-all instrument, newspapers, radio and TV stations all drew up special schedules ensuring that they march with the political programme of the election.

For over two weeks, the October 07 election reigned as the opener for all news organs. It was a real struggle to win the interest of the listeners and readers. Even though the various organs work within the precincts of their set but not written editorial lines, the trend of event seemed to have dictated the direction to take. The reason is simple; the nine political parties that were combing the corners of the country were not of the same political leaning.

This alone was en ough to slightly alter the traditional editorial line of media houses who had tailored their programmes to march with those of the candidates. The Presidential election was occasion for each media organ to demonstrate its capability in giving maximum coverage to the various activities on the field.

On radio and television, one could easily identify special fits on election during news and as if that were not enough special independent programmes to present in detail the happenings on the field. Interviews were common, debates regular and analyses primordial. The content of what occupied airwaves was eventually dictated by the candidates and other campaigners on the field.

Every media organ operated within the framework of breaking the news and bringing out what could appear as a scope. The underlining fact about media coverage of the October 07 election was the general zeal to post reporters behind each candidate. Bigger media houses had as a matter of fact, a plethora of reporters on the field so much so that they ended up virtually flooding the paper, radio or television with election news.

And as many candidates ...



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