Media and Elections Index Media and Elections Quiz The media are essential to democracy, and a democratic election is impossible without media.
A free and fair election is not only about the freedom to vote and the knowledge of how to cast a vote, but also about a participatory process where voters engage in public debate and have adequate information about parties, policies, candidates and the election process itself in order to make informed choices.
The greatest role the media played in the election process was after the voting was over.
In the evening, radio and television stations and online press provided live results that were posted at polling stations.
Journalists went to the polls to report live, interviewing observers, members of the polling stations and the public, to check whether everything was going normally.
Inherent to this task is the entitlement of parties and candidates to use the media as a platform for interaction with the public.This helped to prevent fraud and to quickly confirm the need for a second round.[ii] The Media and Elections topic area explores the many dimensions and nuances of media within electoral contexts.A brief History of Media and Elections is provided, as well as an in-depth look at the current international Media Landscape, including media ownership.A chapter entitled Legal Framework for Media and Elections provides substantial discussion of the different models for a regulatory framework for the media in elections, ranging from an independent electoral commission to a specialized media regulator, such as a broadcasting commission or a voluntary media council or press complaints body.Groups of thugs who were plotting to disrupt the vote during the first round were arrested after the media reported on it.And all day long, you had people and political leaders calling the radio and TV stations to tell them about any cases of wrongdoing, so that journalists could fact-check and report.In 2005 the yearly World Press Freedom Day international conference produced a declaration that stressed “independent and pluralistic media are essential for ensuring transparency, accountability and participation as fundamental elements of good governance and human-rights based development”.Furthermore, the declaration urges member states to “respect the function of the news media as an essential factor in good governance, vital to increasing both transparency and accountability in decision-making processes and to communicating the principles of good governance to society”.[i] In order to fulfil their roles, the media need to maintain a high level of professionalism, accuracy and impartiality in their coverage.This scrutiny is in itself a vital safeguard against interference or corruption in the management or conduct of the electoral process.The relationship of the EMBs to the media is hence a multifaceted one, including: This brief example from Senegal in 2012 brings to life the roles of media in elections: This election has attested to the proper functioning of the democratic system in Senegal but also confirmed the important role that media can play in regularity, transparency and reliability in the polls.