August 19, 2016

Media mustn’t stifle coverage

When it comes to democracy, public participation in elections is of utmost importance. It’s been more than 150 years since Abraham Lincoln famously declared that democracy is “government of the people, for the people and by the people” yet it is no less apt today.
The upcoming general election should be seen as a golden opportunity for people to choose their leader. It is therefore crucial for the electorate to be cautious of exercising their franchise in favour of whoever is suited to run the country. The good of the whole ought to be our top priority.
At this decisive juncture, no media outlet should move to stifle what should be otherwise extensive coverage of the political campaigns underway. The media must take responsibility for playing a greater role in feeding voters thorough and accurate information about the various parties and independent candidates, as this will enable voters to make informed choices.
Daily coverage is ideal and it should include basic information about how to vote and when and why a vote is deemed invalid. If the media does it job properly, voter turnout will be high indeed.
The media must maintain the highest levels of professionalism, accuracy and impartiality in their coverage. It should keep its primary focus on the rights of voters to have full access to the news of parties and candidates canvassing for votes. The time has come for correspondents to play their part in leading a paradigm shift with unflagging ardour.


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