By David Mwenda
It is finally here, possibly one of the most important events before the elections. Party primaries are finally here. As promised, they will be bringing a lot of emotions and they will make or break the careers of some bigwigs.
For some politicians this will be the big break for them to re-enter politics. For example this will be the make or break moment for Peter Kenneth and Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko. Other people whose careers hang in the balance include the Kisumu Senator Anyang Ny’ongo and Paul Otuoma. For them the result will really matter.
For the media this will also be a test for them and the way they cover the primaries will be a deciding moment to how they will cover the elections. The media needs to be very keen on how they put the messaging and how they will handle this matter. It is high time they get to leave the old narratives they have always presented before.
Invest more in the primaries coverage
It is important for the media to cover the elections in the same way they cover the elections. They need to stop covering the primaries like something common. They need to make sure they have done more than just employ a few reporters on standby on that day only.
They also need to cover the campaigns more seriously and in some areas even try to organize debates. They need to make sure they have given a lot of things and even set up panelists to discuss this matter. It is important for the media to make sure they have given the coverage its importance in order for them to get meaning in the country.
Leave the violence narrative and messaging a lot
Politics and business is all about perception. Someone’s perception can be changed and this can be done in the case of the election primaries. For years on end the media has made the primaries seem like a messy affair and they always cover the violence aspect during the primaries. This makes people lose interest in participating in the primaries.
Do not get me wrong I support the media and the fact that they need to keep us informed. In fact that is their job. However when you drive a certain narrative a lot it becomes like it is what really happens. This is why this time they should avoid bringing this narrative a lot and focus on other things.
Focus on the aspect of free and fair elections
There needs to be a lot of emphasis on looking at the process and how he parties carry it out. They should be the people to make sure the process is free and fair. In case the process is not free and fair they need to look at ways to make it known. They can set up their centers and work with the parties to create a free and fair election.
It is important for the media to set up like they are setting up for the real elections in order to prepare for August 8. They can influence the way the election primaries are done.