The presidential debate has gotten a lifeline after Dida’s case has been thrown by the court leaving the debate to run. This returns the debate back to the table. However this comes after a week where there have been doubts as to whether the debate will take place, Uhuru and Raila in the election.
However the other candidates have soon come out to condemn the contenders or not coming out to do this and they have even called press conferences. This begs the question, were they waiting for the debate to campaign? Did they not have any other media strategies to make sure they have garnered votes and face time with the public.
The media have tried to be more than fair in giving them coverage. Some of them have even been hosted and they have been asked to explain their policies and what they intend to do for their country once elected. However they have not managed to do a fair job with some of them even missing some key statistics. If I can give an example Joseph Kaluyu, a presidential candidate running as an independent got unemployment statistics wrong during Yvonne Okwara’s Meet the President. He could not even name the source of his statistics and he seems to have not had a suitable place as to where he got his information.
This is one of the main examples which I have. They have been complaining that they are not getting any face time, but in the long run when they are given face time they do make it worth their time.
However some have even resulted to campaigning on twitter and other social media platforms and have gotten in some petty squabbles with journalists. Ekuru Aukot resulted to a Twitter feud with Larry Madowo and it ended with a lot of sarcasm and scandals from media and blogs which caught wind of the tweets.
Media houses which have been blamed for making this a two horse race are somehow right. They have tried to give this people leeway and even hosted them on their shows. However they also need to understand that they need to push to sit at the big boys table not wait to be invited.
If you choose to be fringe then the media will make you fringe. Media houses have complained that they do not invite them to their events and they do not give the media a timeline as to where they will be campaigning or whether they are available for interviews whether prime time or not.
Finally the media needs to make sure they have also applied their machinery to cover these events. They need to make sure they have covered the events adequately so that they do not complain that the media is biased on their show. They need to do all they can in order to make sure they have given the right stance in what they think in the long run.