Angelhouser | A Journal By Angelica Bautista Viloria

Monday, April 9, 2007

Media and Voter Education

As I talk to Filipino voters these days, I somehow get the impression that voters don't care much about the upcoming elections. They don't think much about the candidates running for office or the political parties they can choose from. After voting in several elections, they are probably resigned to the fact that whoever among the candidates win, will not change the way their lives are.

Do you think media has done enough to help the lesser-known candidates and parties? I don't think so. I read the papers daily (well, at least on weekdays) and I can see that the same old candidates get featured and get the needed media mileage. So if you are well-known or popular, you get more popular as media will probably find stories about you more newsworthy or worth sharing.

I was watching TV some days ago and the newscast had a feature on how the internet is being used by candidates as a campaign tool. There was mention of how certain candidates have their own websites or are on Friendster, for example. Chiz Escudero, Francis Pangilinan -- were some of the more popular candidates mentioned. It made me wonder why the station, for example, chose to talk about these candidates when they were already well known to begin with. Being on the internet, shouldn't add much to their campaign anymore. It was good that they also mentioned Trillanes (who is unable to really campaign) but why was there no mention of the blogs of the Kapatiran candidates, for example?

I hope that in the coming days, media will be able to grant more space and air time to lesser known candidates who may not have as much money to spend as the more established politicians. Can't do anything about it. The way our system is, more popular names with funds to spend will really have an advantage.

I wonder when this scenario will change?