Media as election watchdogs

The national election is one of the most important and sought after event in our country. It is the time when everyone gets involved and everyone has a say on something. Our country’s history is known for its controversial past—from Martial law up to the impeachment trials and numerous graft and corruption cases of politicians. The people have been scarred by the events that happened in the past that is why during elections, everyone does not just exercise their rights to vote but, they also want to know everything to avoid the mistakes of the past from happening once more.

This 2016 election, the media, since the registration of voters, acted as the public’s ears and eyes. It has established a reputation as the “election watchdogs.” As the May 09 draws nearer each day, the media maintained its consistency of reporting to the public every move these political aspirants make.

In terms of media coverage on the campaign trails of candidates, the media remained consistent. Since day one of the campaign period, they managed to update the people on the whereabouts of these political candidates. Their use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook enabled the people to have easier up to date reports of their campaigns.

In terms of media coverage on debates, the media brought the candidates closer to the people. On the last presidential debate, the crowdsourcing of problems allowed the people to voice out themselves the issues our country is now facing. This gave the people a feel that they are not just a part of the election, but also the nation. Inviting political analysts, sociologist and other experts to talk before and after the live show of the debates to assess each candidate became very useful to the people. These commentaries allowed the people to have a clearer understanding of what is happening. Livestream provided by the media widened the reach of people.

In terms of media coverage on issues concerning candidates, the media was able to update the people about these issues. Although some newspapers have been biased and are strong and obvious in promoting politicians, others maintained on bringing objective news reports to the people. There is continuity in their stories which keeps the people updated.

In terms of media coverage on surveys, the media again showed continuity in reporting the surveys. It although concerns me about the implications the survey brings to the people. Surveys are given much emphasis that people tend to take it too seriously. It has driven out different meanings that people tend to outlook the use of surveys.

The media has emphasized its importance and relevance this election. It did not just keep the people up to date on what is happening all around the election period but, it also encouraged the people to actively participate as well. They also never fail to remind the people’s right to vote, which I believe is an important role of the media during this election. K KRYSTAL GAYLE DIGAY


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