How elections are reported has important implications for the health of democracy and informed citizenship. But, how informative are the news media during campaigns? What kind of logic do they follow? How well do they serve citizens?e Based on original research as well as the most comprehensive assessment of election studies to date, Cushion and Thomas examine how campaigns are reported in many advanced Western democracies. In doing so, they engage with debates about the mediatization of politics, media systems, information environments, media ownership, regulation, political news, horserace journalism, objectivity, impartiality, agenda-setting, and the relationship between media and democracy more generally. Focusing on the most recent US and UK election campaigns, they consider how the logic of election coverage could be rethought in ways that better serve the democratic needs of citizens. Above all, they argue that election reporting should be driven by a public logic, where the agenda of voters takes centre stage in the campaign and the policies of respective political parties receive more airtime and independent scrutiny. The book is essential reading for scholars and students in political communication and journalism studies, political science, media and communication studies.
This book contributes to debates concerning online reporting of elections and the challenges facing journalism in the context of democratic change. The speed of technological adaptation by journalists and their audiences means online news is gradually becoming a normalised part of media landscapes across the world. Journalists monitor social media for insight into the political process and as an instant indication of "public sentiment", rather than waiting for press releases and opinion polls. Citizens are actively participating in online political reporting too, through publishing eyewitness accounts, political commentary, crowd-sourcing and fact-checking information (of political manifestos and media reports alike). It is therefore growing increasingly important to understand how political journalism is evolving through new communicative forms and practices, in order to critique its epistemological role and function in democratic societies, and examine how these interventions influence daily online political reporting across different national contexts. This volume covers comparative, research-based studies across a range of national contexts and electoral systems, including Australia, ten African countries, the European Union, Greece, the Netherlands, India, Iran, Sweden, the UK and the USA. This book was originally published as a special issue of Journalism Practice.
The ability to be divided along ethnic and religious lines is inherent to much of Africa’s media. Such potentially divisive reporting has the ability to incite violence through prejudiced information, particularly during election processes. Reporting African Elections examines the impact of media messages on society, focusing on these electoral processes in Africa. Drawing upon the Peace Journalism approach to political reporting, this book offers a unifying conceptual framework for analysing the role journalists play in ensuring peaceful elections. Joseph Adebayo also looks at the impact training can have on election reportage, studying recent elections in Kenya and Nigeria in order to present a 17-point plan for reporting elections in Africa. Reporting African Elections will be of interest to scholars and students of journalism, peace and conflict studies, and politics.
Elections are a pre-condition for democratic governance since it is through them that the citizens of a country choose freely, and on the basis of the law, the persons that can legitimately govern in their name and in their interest. The right to free elections, as enshrined in the Article 3 of the Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, is a “fundamental principle in a truly democratic political regime”. It comprises a series of safeguards and procedures that ensure respect for active and passive electoral rights and the conduct of genuine free and fair elections. Civil society has a distinct role to play since it observes the electoral process and contributes to the development of national electoral procedures through advice and recommendations. The Council of Europe handbook Reporting on elections aims to help observers become more efficient and to produce more effective reports, specifically focusing on the reporting of core team members. At the same time, it also covers the reporting of long- and short-term observers. It deals mainly with final election reports and reports/statements on preliminary findings, while also providing insight into interim reports and ideas for ad hoc reports and press releases, in addition to tips on how to follow up on recommendations.