Is the media coverage of political parties fair? William Bird explains

What role does the media have to play during elections?

Do smaller parties get the same coverage as the big three political parties in the country? How do newsrooms decide which party to report on or not?

A Media Monitoring Africa report into the 2016 local government elections shows the ANC received much more media coverage than other political parties.

In terms of news coverage of the 2016 polls the MMA said the ANC received 43.5%, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) at 24.0%, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at 12%, the National Freedom Party at 4.7%, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) at 4.3% and other political parties at 11%.

Eusebius McKaiser engaged Director of Media Monitoring Africa William Bird on how the media covered the 2016 elections and improvements to be done this year.

In the 2016 elections, we had 26/28 registered parties, this year we have about 30 to 35 registered parties. Now media with the best will in the world can't give equal coverage to all parties.

William Bird, Director - Media Monitoring Africa

What determines the news agenda? Just because a politician speaks doesn't mean we have to cover them because by large we know what they are going to say even before we cover them and yet media flocks to these things.

William Bird, Director - Media Monitoring Africa

Bird says that the EFF's media strategy works well for it because everytime it calls a press briefing everyone seems to want to attend.

Even though we are not necessarily sure about what they are going to say, even though what they may say a lot of the time may be nonsense or even not newsworthy.

William Bird, Director - Media Monitoring Africa

He concludes -

The media coverage of political parties is fair.

William Bird, Director - Media Monitoring Africa

Listen to the full conversation and find out where the media can improve...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
'President Ramaphosa has to deal with corruption allegations during #Sona2019'

'President Ramaphosa has to deal with corruption allegations during #Sona2019'

Economist Dr Iraj Abedian provides some insight into what to expect from President Cyril Ramaphosa State of the Nation Address.

EFF supporters 'ate out of Malema's palm' during manifesto launch  - analyst

EFF supporters 'ate out of Malema's palm' during manifesto launch - analyst

Political analyst Professor Lesiba Tefo analyses the EFF manifesto launch.

[LISTEN] Why do people still vote for the ANC?

[LISTEN] Why do people still vote for the ANC?

'What we might see in these elections are voters returning to the ANC' says Dr Collette Schulz - Herzenberg.

EFF: 'All roads lead to Soshanguve Giant Stadium' for election manifesto launch

EFF: 'All roads lead to Soshanguve Giant Stadium' for election manifesto launch

EFF central command's deputy secretary-general Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi invites all supporters to the party's election manifesto.

The DA 'brand' is struggling – Andy Rice (branding and advertising expert)

The DA 'brand' is struggling – Andy Rice (branding and advertising expert)

With general elections around the corner, advertising and branding expert Andy Rice critiques the Democratic Alliance’s brand.

5 things the DA must do if it wants to survive the elections (so says Tony Leon)

5 things the DA must do if it wants to survive the elections (so says Tony Leon)

Tony Leon advises that unified leadership, as well as a clear and coherent message, are needed for an effective election campaign.

Popular articles
Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Did someone steal your phone? Contact your bank without hesitation warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

SAA is on its knees, cap in hand, asking taxpayers for R2 billion this month. Unions must be careful, warns Guy Leitch (SA Flyer).

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

"This problem is bigger than just a Kingswood problem. The relevant processes will unfold," says College Head Colleen Vassiliou.

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Eusebius engages callers on the Richard Branson tweet that has been widely criticised for lacking diversity.

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

The money-pit airline is fighting for its life. Bruce Whitfield interviews Theto Mahlakoana, a senior political reporter at EWN.

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.