By Queen Nwabueze
2023 election season is a true test of the much-vaunted objectivity of journalists.
Journalism’s pursuit of objectivity strives to enable readers to form their OWN opinions about a story. This implies that the media (mainstream and digital) must present the facts solely before allowing the potential voters to offer them their own interpretation. Again, this means that news organizations should present the facts as they are, whether or not they agree with them.
Lovely on paper Yeah? But has this really been the focus of our media since the polls for 2023 began to be conducted? No!
A well-liked TV station reporter was recently discredited for having ties to a well-liked political party (names withheld for ethical reasons).
Hold on for a moment! Let’s sketch out the perfect situation once more. In journalism, objectivity means refusing to embellish any facts or details in order to strengthen a narrative or better align a topic with a predetermined objective. Similarly, according to the profession of journalism’s neutrality standards, news should be reported in an objective, fair, and impartial way. In actuality, according to this idea, journalists should support NONE of the competing political parties and should instead just present the pertinent information to everybody.
How about disengagement? The journalist’s emotional stance is referred to as detachment. Basically, reporters MUST approach topics not only objectively but also with a cold, emotionless mentality. This tactic calls for the telling of tales in a calm, collected manner, allowing potential voters to make their own decisions apart from the influence of social or traditional media. Again, all of these principles seem sensible on paper.
You might be wondering why this article focuses so much on the Disney-land roles that the media play during elections.
Sorry, but without hammering our media, we cannot properly address the subject of “2023 Election: The Role of Media Monitoring Services.” The role of media monitoring services should reflect the fact that the media’s actions and inactions are at the center of every aspect of elections and electioneering. That is the reality!
Election seasons do in fact coincide with times of increased media attention and reporting, with each political party seemingly desperate to take the helm of the nation, as we’ve seen in more recent years. These times of change are frequently marked by extremely competitive rhetoric, escalating tensions, occasional political bullying, and occasionally even violent confrontation and death desires.
Since the media is the main driver of these dynamics, political candidates and campaign offices should use media monitoring services, if only to uncover information that is hidden from plain view and has the potential to prevent voters from receiving enough information to make informed voting decisions.
You may track your candidacy, your opponents, public media conversation, and even detractors in real-time across all media in Nigeria, including print, online, broadcast, and social. P+ Measurement Services is one such media monitoring service.
Largely as a result of Walter Lippmann’s work, the concept of objectivity in journalism as we know it now exists. After the excesses of yellow journalism, Lippmann urged for impartiality in journalism. The yellows of the period, he said, had served their role, but the populace needed to hear the truth, not a “romanticized version of it.”
Not to cry any more over already spilled milk, but this article strongly suggests that you hire expert media monitors to join your campaign organization and conduct your listening on your behalf. Do not employ individuals who are unqualified to watch your media.
You may have noticed that the electorate now lives online in this era of online media—your own potential voters! Where are they getting their political message from? If it’s in your favor, are you certain?
Since internet media has become so crucial, it is not advisable to quickly enter and leave.
Who is keeping watch of the media for you? Are they qualified?
Online media has significantly altered how individuals consume political messages. These advances have also resulted in certain unfavorable occurrences, such as a significant rise in material that is unreliable, context-free, and biased against you and your political party.
For instance, a number of studies have shown to P+ Measurement Services that your critics are using newly forming social and tribal divisions to preach to your adherents. What will you do next, then? If your party is sincerely committed to winning the 2023 elections, we advise you to use media monitoring services to provide you with accurate information.
PPlus’ approach is straightforward. To manage the perceptions that shape your reality across the media, they engage in 24/7 media fact-checking, media monitoring, and traction using international standard listening and intelligence tools/metrics; they then report back to you with the crucial findings/feedback and hand you the precise places you need to influence.
Queen Nwabueze is a Media & Content Strategist, based in Lagos.