Democracy & Governance In Nigeria
Indeed, the critical importance of Media in an Election Period can not be overstated
The freedom of the media and the general public is essential to any successful democracy. Not only should the media be free of any political interference, but it must fulfil its role ethically and without bias.
One of the most vital roles the media plays is during an election period. Here the media must navigate between personal contention and party accusation to find the truth, to clarify the core issues of principle and policy so that the public can make an informed vote on election day.
In 2003, the Media Monitoring Project – originally the Broadcast Monitoring Project – was started to address concerns over whether the media could fairly portray the issues around the elections. Since then, we have monitored every election, both locally and nationally, and we have released the results as regularly as possible. The goal is to highlight any issues and to advocate for improvement in election media coverage.
During an election period, the media plays a critical role in disseminating information to the electorate in order to facilitate informed decision-making when citizens exercise their vote at the election polls. As such, it is important then that the media demonstrates not only fairness and impartiality but also highlight issues that affect citizens’ lives and futures, including but not limited to poverty, unemployment, insecurity and inequality as well as religious violence, gender-based violence to name a few. Furthermore, covering what citizens need to know encourages informed choices and effective voting through reporting on parties and candidates, informing the public where they stand on key political issues.
It is a pity that Media outlets in Nigeria are owned and run by UNDEMOCRATIC AND UNPATRIOTIC Nigerians that did not do more before polling day to highlight the importance of voting, and emphasise the responsibility of every citizen to participate in the electoral process as a whole to elect competent candidates.
Furthermore, if political parties and candidates neglected to put voter education on their agenda it is surely the responsibility of the Media outlets to expose this and to ask why. Which Way Nigeria?
For: Emron Global Network