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Election reporting in the media Session 1: The concept, the values (what is it, what is the tradition?) Session 2: Story ideas and techniques (what to.

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Presentation on theme: "Election reporting in the media Session 1: The concept, the values (what is it, what is the tradition?) Session 2: Story ideas and techniques (what to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Election reporting in the media Session 1: The concept, the values (what is it, what is the tradition?) Session 2: Story ideas and techniques (what to cover, how to cover) Session 3: Your story process (what will you write about, why and how?)

2 The concept, the values The watchdog role of journalism (Fourth Estate) Media, democracy and voter education (public interest) Horse race vs. issue reporting, candidates’ rhetoric vs voter’s voice Code of conduct Freedom– free, uncensored flow of information Independence and honesty Obligation to report- democratic morality Factual, impartial, objective Accuracy and verification Balance, neutrality and honesty

3 News coverage Context The last CA elections and news coverage Uncertainties, skepticism Post-conflict, transition to a new system Depends on -Individual journalist’s efforts -Newsroom budget meetings/news agenda -Campaign environment

4 Election Code of Conduct (imposed by EC) निर्वाचनको अवधिमा आम सञ्चार माध्यमले देहायका आचरण पालना गर्नु पर्नेछ : तथ्यपक्षपात नगरीवस्तुनिष्ठ 1. सूचना वा समाचार सम्प्रेषण गर्दा तथ्यमा आधारित भई, पक्षपात नगरी र वस्तुनिष्ठ ढंगले सम्प्रेषण गर्नु पर्नेछ । पूर्वाग्रह नराखीपक्षपात नगरी 2. सूचना वा समाचार सम्प्रेषण वा प्रसारण गर्दा कसैप्रति पूर्वाग्रह नराखी र कसैलाई पक्षपात नगरी सम्प्रेषण गर्नु पर्नेछ । 3. सूचना वा समाचारकोसंकलन तथा सम्प्रेषण रोक्न, दबाउन वा लुकाउन हुँदैन । भ्रम 4. सूचना वा समाचार सर्वसाधारणलाई भ्रममा पार्ने गरी सम्प्रेषण गर्न, प्रकाशन वा प्रसारण गर्न हुँदैन । शिक्षामूलक उच्च प्राथमिकता वाधा अवरोध समाचारमा समावेश 5. निर्वाचनसँग सम्बन्धित शिक्षामूलक समाचार र सूचना सम्प्रेषणलाई उच्च प्राथमिकता दिनुपर्नेछ । सूचना र समाचार संकलन र सम्प्रेषण गर्न कसैले वाधा अवरोध पुर् ‍ याएमा सो कुरा समेत सूचना तथा समाचारमा समावेश गर्नु पर्नेछ ।

5 Election Code of Conduct (from EC), contd. अनुचित लाभ ग्रहण 6. कसैबाट कुनै किसिमको अनुचित लाभ ग्रहण गर्न वा पेशागत आचरण एवं मान्यता विपरीत हुने कुनै काम कारबाही गर्नु हुँदैन । भेदभाव हिंसा सद् ‍ भाव 7. सूचना र समाचार सम्प्रेषण गर्दा, प्रकाशन गर्दा वा प्रसारण गर्दा कसैप्रति कुनै किसिमले भेदभाव दर्शाउने वा हिंसालाई उक्साउने खालको भाषाको प्रयोग गर्न र विभिन्न जातजाति, धर्म, लिङ्ग, भाषा र सम्प्रदाय वीचको सम्बन्ध र सद् ‍ भावमा कुनैपनि किसिमबाट खलल पर्ने गरी सम्प्रेषण गर्न, प्रकाशन गर्न र प्रसारण गर्न हुँदैन । सहभागिता अभिबृद्धि 8. निर्वाचनमा विभिन्न जात जाति, धर्म, लिङ्ग, भाषा र सम्प्रदायको सहभागिता अभिबृद्धि हुनेगरी सूचना र समाचार सम्प्रेषण गर्नु पर्नेछ । गलत वा भ्रामक सूचना तुरुन्त सच्याउनु 9. कुनै गलत वा भ्रामक सूचना वा समाचार, सम्प्रेषण, प्रकाशन वा प्रसारण हुन गएमा सम्बद्ध सञ्चार माध्यम तथा सञ्ंचारकर्मीलेत्यस्तोसूचना वा समाचार तुरुन्त सच्याउनु पर्नेछ ।

6 Election Code of Conduct (from EC), contd. सरकारी स्वामित्वका सञ्चार माध्यमको आचरणः पक्ष वा विपक्षमा सम्पादकीय 10. कुनैपनि राजनीतिक दल वा उम्मेदवारको पक्ष वा विपक्षमा सम्पादकीय लेख्न र प्रसारण गर्न हुँदैन । मनासिब अवसर 11. राजनीतिक दल वा उम्मेदवारलाई मतदाता माझ आफ्नोविचार, नीति तथा कार्यक्रम अभिव्यक्त गर्न मनासिब अवसर दिनु पर्नेछ । 12. निर्वाचन तथा मतदाता शिक्षासम्वन्धी सामग्री 12. निर्वाचन तथा मतदाता शिक्षासम्वन्धी सामग्री प्रकाशन तथा प्रसारण गर्न प्राथमिकता दिनु पर्नेछ ।

7 Election Code of Conduct (from EC), contd. निःशुल्क प्रसारण सुविधा निःशुल्क समय 13. समानुपातिक निर्वाचन प्रणाली अन्तर्गतको निर्वाचनमा दलले खडा गरेको कुल उम्मेदवारको अनुपातमा रेडियो र टेलिभिजन प्रसारणसेवामा निःशुल्क समय उपलव्ध गराउनेछ । तीन चरणमा 14. समय उपलव्ध तीन चरणमा पहिलो चरणपाँचदेखि बीस मिनेटसम्म क ) पहिलो चरणमा राजनीतिक दलको घोषणापत्र सार्वजनिक गर्नको लागि पाँचदेखि बीस मिनेटसम्म रेडियो प्रसारण सेवामा दोस्रो चरणमा दुईदेखि पाँच मिनेटसम्म ख ) दोस्रो चरणमा निर्वाचन प्रसारको लागि दुईदेखि पाँच मिनेटसम्म टेलिभिजन प्रसारण सेवामा, तेस्रो चरणमा अन्तिमरुपमा आव्हान गर्न एक एक मिनेट ग ) तेस्रो चरणमा प्रत्येक राजनीतिक दललाई अभिमतको लागि अन्तिमरुपमा आव्हान गर्न दफा ९३ बमोजिमको मौन अवधि शुरु हुनुअघि एक एक मिनेट टेलिभिजन प्रसारण सेवामा । 15. दफा ९१ मा उल्लिखित चरणमा प्रसारण गरिने सामग्री सम्वन्धित दलले तयार गरी सम्वन्धित प्रसारण सेवालाई दिनु पर्नेछ । 16. मौन अवधिमा प्रचार – प्रसार गर्न नहुनेः 16. मौन अवधिमा प्रचार – प्रसार गर्न नहुनेः आम सञ्चार माध्यमले मौन अवधिमा कुनै राजनीतिक दल वा उम्मेदवारकोनिर्वाचनको प्रचार – प्रसार हुने गरी सूचना वा समाचार सम्प्रेषण, प्रकाशन र प्रसारण गर्नु हुँदैन । तर आयोगले प्रवाह गरेको सूचना तथा समाचार सम्प्रेषण, प्रकाशन वा प्रसारण गर्न यस दफाले वाधा पुर् ‍ याएको मानिने छैन, “ मौन अवधि ” अठचालीस घण्टा केन्द्र बन्द नहुन्जेल स्पष्टीकरणः यस दफाको प्रयोजनको लागि “ मौन अवधि ” भन्नालेमतदान हुनेदिनको अघिल्लो अठचालीस घण्टा देखि मतदानको दिन अन्तिम मतदान केन्द्र बन्द नहुन्जेलको समय सम्झनु पर्छ । 17. अभिलेख राख्नु पर्नेः पैंतीस दिनसम्म 17. अभिलेख राख्नु पर्नेः आम सञ्चार माध्यमलेनिर्वाचनको सम्बन्धमा प्रकाशन वा प्रसारण गरेका प्रत्येक सूचना र समाचार त्यसरी प्रकाशन वा प्रसारण भएको मितिले पैंतीस दिनसम्म सुरक्षित राख् ‍ नु पर्नेछ । अनुगमन नियमित अनुगमन 18. सूचना तथा समाचार सम्प्रेषणको अनुगमन गर्नेः ( १ ) आयोगले आम सञ्चार माध्यमहरुबाट सम्प्रेषण, प्रकाशन र प्रसारण भएका निर्वाचन प्रचार – प्रसारसम्वन्धी सूचना र समाचारको नियमित अनुगमन गर्नेछ । सच्याउन निर्देशन ( २ ) उपदफा ( १ ) बमोजिम अनुगमन गर्दा कुनै समाचारको सम्प्रेषण, प्रकाशन वा प्रसारणबाट आचार संहिताको उल्लङ्घन भएको देखिएमा त्यस्तो सूचना वा समाचार सच्याउन आयोगले सम्वन्धित सञ्चार माध्यमलाई निर्देशन दिनेछ । ( ३ ). उपदफा ( २ ) बमोजिमको निर्देशन प्राप्त भएपछि सम्वन्धित सञ्चार माध्यमले त्यस्तो सूचना सच्याउनु पर्नेछ ।

8 “Free & Fair” Elections are “free” if before polling day there is Freedom of movement, Freedom of speech (for candidates, voters and others), Freedom of assembly, Freedom of association Freedom from fear in connection with the election and electoral campaign, Absence of impediments to standing for election (for both political parties and independent candidates) Equal and universal suffrage. If on polling day there is opportunity to participate in the election. If there are legal possibilities of complaint after the polling day. (Elklit and Svensson, 2001, p.204)

9 “Free and Fair” Elections are “fair” if before polling day there is a transparent electoral process, an election act and an electoral system that grant no special privilege to any political parties or social group, absence of impediments to inclusion in the electoral register, establishment of an independent and impartial election commission, impartial treatment of candidates by police, the army, and the courts of law; equal opportunities for political parties and independent candidates to stand for elections, Impartial voter education programs, an orderly election campaign (observance of a code of conduct), equal access to publicly controlled media,equal access to publicly controlled media, impartial allotment of public funds to political parties (if applicable), no misuse of government facilities for campaign purposes. (Elklit and Svensson, 2001, p.204)

10 “Free & Fair” Elections are “fair” if on polling day there is the mediaaccess to all polling stations for representatives of the political parties, accredited local and international observers, and the media; secrecy of the ballot, absence of intimidation of voters, effective design of ballot papers, proper ballot papers, impartial assistance to voters (if necessary), proper counting procedures, proper treatment of void ballot papers, proper precautionary measures when transporting election materials, impartial protection of polling stations. (Elklit and Svensson, 2001) Elections are “fair” if after polling day, there is official and expeditious announcement of election results, impartial treatment of any election complaints, impartial reports on the elections results by the media,impartial reports on the elections results by the media, acceptance of the election results by everyone involved. (Elklit and Svensson, 2001, p.204) Citation: Elklit, Jergen & Svensson, Palle. “What makes elections free and fair?” Journal of Democracy 8 (July 1997): 32–46.

11 Covering CA Elections 2008

12 Media Monitoring 2008 Media All Media Individual Media All Programs Individual Programs Coverage Total Time Direct Speech Tone (positive/negative) Relevant Actors Parties Candidates Election Commission & its Commissioners Others You are being monitored again!! Election coverage is of interest to many

13 Key features of coverage in 2008 Monitoring had deterrent effects on media outlets Overall, restrained coverage It was generally helpful to the election process Of the 74 political parties, most coverage went to only four parties Of the 9,923 candidates running for election, fewer than a dozen got most of the media space Bias was the main issue in news/views coverage Voter’s education was covered fairly well Media Impact? Avenues TV newsclip showing several underage (teen) voters casting ballots at a Birgunj polling center. Yet the polls at that center were not invalidated.

14 Electronic Broadcast Media

15

16

17 Print Media

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19 Top ten candidates – Broadcast media

20 Top ten candidates – Print media

21 Directives by EC – About two dozens-- Most concerned bias and partiality NTV: Jana Aawaj program aired appeals seeking votes for Maoists Radio Nepal: EC asked for clarification from Paribesh and Ghatana Ra Bichar. Ordered suspension Ghatana Ra Bichar until end of elections Radio Today, Janakpur (code violation in "Garmagaram Chaa" program) Government media: Asked to clarify on one-sided news and views favoring a particular party. Radio Ganatantra: Dang-based station asked to submit a clarification in 24 hours as for news favoring CPN (Maoist) and exclusion of the news of other parties. Bypass: Birgunj-based newspaper - discrimination between Madhesis and Pahades. Hamro Aafnai Patrika: Birgunj-based newspaper, door to door campaign of a single party, NC.

22 Contd. EC directives Rupandehi F.M: favorable election coverage to UML and NC. Butwal F.M.: favorable coverage to NC alone. Jana Aawaj: Sunsari-based weekly cast doubts on elections by publishing materials which said voters were not ready to "risk life for voting". Radio Bheri Aawaj: news report on the "threat to life" issued by YCL to UML candidate Gaura Prasai. Kantipur TV: contents of its show "Bholiko Nepal", promo projected Pushpa Kamal Dahal of CPN (Maoist) as Tomorrow's Nepal. Aabhusan Dainik: Morang-based daily, called for election boycott. Jana Bidroha Dainik: favoring the Maoists alone. Bhaktapur FM: favoring Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) alone. Morning Bell Daily and Dhangadhi Post: EC asked in a letter if the newspapers, both from Dhangadhi, were favoring UML alone.

23 Contd. EC directives Rupandehi F.M: favorable election coverage to UML and NC. Butwal F.M.: favorable coverage to NC alone. Jana Aawaj: Sunsari-based weekly cast doubts on elections by publishing materials which said voters were not ready to "risk life for voting". Radio Bheri Aawaj: news report on the "threat to life" issued by YCL to UML candidate Gaura Prasai. Kantipur TV: contents of its show "Bholiko Nepal", promo projected Pushpa Kamal Dahal of CPN (Maoist) as Tomorrow's Nepal. Aabhusan Dainik: Morang-based daily, called for election boycott. Jana Bidroha Dainik: favoring the Maoists alone. Bhaktapur FM: favoring Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) alone. Morning Bell Daily and Dhangadhi Post: EC asked in a letter if the newspapers, both from Dhangadhi, were favoring UML alone.

24 Issues in coverage Bias is the main issue--- How to avoid bias in coverage? Proper attributions/quotes Avoid qualifiers/adjectives (focus on facts) Report issues rather than focusing on events/incidents How to write quality articles or produce good programs to benefit all audiences? Plan ahead, select proper story ideas Follow techniques/formats/processes MORE ON THIS IN THE NEXT SESSION!

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26 Election reporting in the media Session 1: The concept, the values (what is it, what is the tradition?) Session 2: Story ideas and techniques (what to cover, how to cover) Session 3: Your story process (what will you write about, why and how?)

27 Story Ideas and Techniques Story conception Idea generation Selecting story ideas Issues/agenda Story types and techniques Planning the story Story Guidelines

28 Story conception Generate story ideas from group small-group discussions (3-5 people). Methods can vary, depending on the context. Idea generation Jotting down random thoughts—let participants know beforehand that they should jot down penitential story ideas for their final assignment Asking the 5W & H questions—which among these questions merits a story Clustering/mind-mapping— picturing the ideas inside participants heads (use white board, flip chart, etc. to illustrate them) Brainstorming or listing on white board or flip chart (this may be the most practical & effective in most cases)

29 Story conception Selecting story ideas Once all the ideas are listed, consider the “news values”. Ask group members to vote on a story’s value (scale: 1=highest score, 10=lowest score)

30 Issues/Agenda Campaign coverage; newsroom policy The political parties and candidates The issues The voting process The voters Issues in your constituency– security arrangements/situation; candidate background, voting process/polling facilities, political intimidations, abuse of power, external interference, forced donations, etc. Voting fraud, rigged elections Etc.

31 Story approach/types Approach Information (News), opinion (views), education, advertisements Story types News (5Wis and H) Editorials/commentaries Feature stories (issue, problem, trend, profile) Interviews, etc. Candidate debates, roundtables of candidates and panels of experts, or interactive programs Forms Audio Video Online

32 Techniques Choose between program types/formats/layouts Deal with media manipulation by candidates Tell voters’ stories (voters’ voice, inclusion, their stories) Use campaign reporting techniques Election speeches reporting techniques Techniques for interviewing candidates/politicians, other stakeholders Techniques for interviewing voter issues/voices

33 Planning the Story PLANNING FORM Name ____________________________________Story topic ________________________________________________________ I.Why: Answer each question as briefly as possible (in one or two sentences). A. Why are you writing this story? _______________________________________________ B. What overall impact do you think this story will have? ________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ II. Targeted readers A. Reader Matrix: Identify potential readers (a good story has materials for more than one type of reader; combine as many as possible)

34 Contd. Planning

35 B. Story Outline: Type, angle and components: Respond to the following. 1. What type of story are you writing (news, feature, interview, etc?) _________________________ 2. How long will be the story (in words)? _____________________________________ 3. How will you organize it? a) Opening____________________________________________________________________ b) Body__________________________________________________________________________ c) Ending ______________________________________________________________________ III. Sources Your human sources (include voters, candidates, experts, officials, etc.): a) __________________ b) ___________________ c) _________________ Others_______________________________ Document sources (local officers, press releases, online materials, etc.). ____________________________________________________________________________ Personal observations (describe objectively what you see, e.g. Field visits, press conferences, etc.) ______________________________________________ IV. Potential challenges Describe potential challenges in reporting, writing and finally editing the story, and your ideas to address them. ____________________________________________________________________________

36 Story Guidelines= Outline, format, organize The following is an example. This framework will also be useful to review/edit/evaluate the draft of the stories. Story Guidelines Story slug – Name of participant, ID, story topic, time of submission, etc. Story outline – Headline should come 4 spaces below the story slug Headline should accurately reflect the essence of the story and it should be succinct, meaningful and enticing) Intro/lead-- set the tone with it (scene, quote, anecdote, fact/statistics, idiom, etc.) Nut graph- the 5Ws +H plus the "so what" (impact statement) to expand the Intro/lead Main body - Give facts, quotes, statistics, and other supporting information/evidences to explain the "so what?" Ending- restate the main point (tie back, punchline, quote, idiom, etc.)

37 Story Guidelines; contd. Gathering information Where can the reporter/writer get the information from? (human sources, documents- print and online, observation) How many sources to use? Attributions and verification Attribute sources for important assertions or facts. Use a variety of quotes, including partial/phrasal quotes and paraphrases For every human source you quote, give the full name of that source with accurate spelling, age and designation. Explain clearly what constitutes plagiarism, distortion of quotes, etc.

38 Story Guidelines; contd. Document format Document: MS Word, font (Preeti, Kantipur, etc), font size? Spacing: single or double? Indents: Needed or not needed? Margins (1 inch) Page numbers (bottom-middle, including first page?) Sentence length (maximum is 25 words) Paragraph length (no more than 1 to 3 short sentences) Length (minimum word length for the story is 900. Do not exceed 1200 words) Mode of submission: /shared Google doc., etc. Schedule/deadline Separately specify deadlines for story idea, outline, draft, revision, and final version. How to submit the final story? Session 3: Your story process (what will you write about, why and how?)

39 Session 3: Your story process (what will you write about, why and how?)

40 FEATURE STORIES Issues Problems Trends Profiles

41 Story Format Focus Begin with a focus on ONE relevant (affected) individual, group or institution for a hook Know what type of story you are writing (issue/problem) Look beyond the obvious: who is affected, how and why? What is the issue? What is the trend? What is the root problem? What is the problem of the problem of the problem?

42 Story Format (2) A Clear “set-up”? What opening technique does it use? (Scene, dialogue, or anecdote?) How explicit is the transition to the theme paragraph or the nut graph? Does the theme paragraph relate to the larger problem? Does the set-up foreshadow what is to come? Does the set-up explain the “so what”? (Why should readers care?) Does the set-up refer to the “to be sure?” (Another side to the story immediately)

43 Story Format (3) The Body Does the body have enough good examples to support your main points? Does it have enough scenes, dialogues, foreshadowing and anecdotes? (Use at least one of these techniques in the body) Does it use chronology, sequence of events? (Do not use too much of this) Does it alternate between inverted pyramid and chronology? (Better to use this technique, it is more flexible) Does it explain the “whys” and “hows?” Does it explain the scope and dimensions of the topic?

44 Story Format (4) The Ending Does the end reinforce beginning? Does it wrap up the main story line, not the last section? Does it tie back to the set-up? (Go back to the focus lead or set-up) What device does the ending use? (Quotes, Scenes, Anecdotes, Dialogues, Teaser)

45 Narrative Techniques 1. Scene-recreation Use all your senses Describe smell, sounds, sights, touch and taste Provide rich and meaningful details

46 Narrative Techniques 2. Dialogue Characters take center stage Readers and viewers transported to the scene The journalist only facilitates in the dialogue Quotes come with body language, scenes

47 Narrative Techniques 3. Foreshadowing Story promises more good stuff Creates suspense, hooks the reader to the story

48 Narrative Techniques 4. Anecdotes Stories within a story, lifeblood of narrative structure They inform, entertain and leave a mark on readers Sources become eyes and ears of the reporter Ask sources for examples (superlative questions)

49 STORY PARTS Headline Byline Dateline Lead Tagline (Summary Blurb) Creditline Caption Kicker Transition C atchword Subhead Focus/Nut Graph Box Item/Fact Box Empowerment box (for further info) Sidebar (Story within a story, a shorter one) Pull quote Info-graphic/ Diagram

50 Attribution ATTRIBUTION & QUOTES News is usually what others tell you, hence the importance of attributions and quotes Attribution is sourcing (where did you get the info?) Quote unique, crisp, succinct, meaningful material. The quoted material is surprising, unusual, important, clever, colloquial, opinionated, controversial etc. Take extreme care when quoting children, mentally disabled people, crime victims etc. Never fabricate or make up quotes. Do not use offensive language (paraphrase if necessary) Quote or use only on-the-record material but not off-the-record information. “Background” (information that can be used with general attribution, without proper name and title, such as “a government official"). Material labeled as “deep background” cannot be attributed at all

51 ATTRIBUTIVE VERBS Neutral Preferred in Hard News Use neutral words all the time. The most common form is: Said (To avoid monotony, use “added,” “continued,” “went on to say,” “explained,” “elaborated,” etc.) No descriptive verbs such as laughed, joked, whined, quipped, etc.

52 Value-laden Use the following only when you are absolutely sure about the context Agreed Alleged Announced Charged Cited Claimed Conceded Confirmed Contented Declared Declined Denied Disclosed Highlighted Insisted Maintained Noted Pointed out Reminded Ruled Stated Warned, etc.

53 What is wrong with “Said”? (From North Carolina Press Association Bulletin) “You can’t expect me to ride the hose without a saddle,” he bridled. “This is our 12 th child,” she proliferated. “Marriage is great,” he espoused. “I don’t know why I always get stuck with committees,” she volunteered. “I like my new glasses,” he speculated. “Get out of my cab!” he hacked. “That’s is damn big bird,” she ostracized. “Watch out he is going to jump!” he alleged. “My shorts are too tight,” he jockeyed. “This building has to be kept clean,” she maintained. “Sounds like an F-flat,” he noted.

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