Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where is the media coverage of the elections?

It should not surprise anyone that voter turnout in the local elections is low when the local media does little to cover the elections.   You need an informed public if you expect people to come out and vote.  The traditional media is still the single most important source from the public for information about the elections.   Without serious coverage or any online resources about the election, the local media is doing their part to drive voter turnout down.

Here is what the various local media are doing:

Times Colonist
The Times Colonist, our local daily newspaper, does remarkably little coverage of the local elections.  In today's paper on page A3, the one dedicated to the island and the capital, there are three stories, not a single one related to the elections.   Apparently considering allowing skateboards downtown is a bigger news story than the local elections.

Online the TC will at some point offer information about the candidates.  What I do not understand is why they do not create the sort of pages I have done with lists of all the candidates and links to them?

At this point in the election CFAX is doing more to cover the local elections than anyone else is.  They are doing interviews with candidates though the format can  be odd.  Yesterday they had two candidates for mayor of Sidney and one for mayor of Central Saanich were on at the same time.  It was disjointed and did not allow for a proper compare and contrast debate.

I have done two segments with Pamela McCall talking about the local elections

CFAX has no resources online related to the election.

The News Group
The News Group papers in the past were a good source but no longer.  The do not even offer an easily accessed name of who is running in each municipality.

Here is how many election stories each paper has done in October

  • Peninsula News Review - 8
  • Victoria News - 6 (though one is very tenuous as an election story)
  • Saanich News - 3
  • Sooke Mirror News - 3
  • Oak Bay News - 2 
  • Goldstream Gazette - 1

If the Saanich News had some in-depth coverage of the election I might actually read it and not bin it right away.

The News Group will have candidate question and answer pages up but so far only the Saanich News has done this.

CBC Radio One on Vancouver Island has no dedicated online election resources.

The CBC is offering all the candidates a chance to phone in and record a one minute segment introducing themselves.    These are then randomly played sometime on either On the Island or All Points West.   If the CBC at least grouped them by municipality and let everyone know ahead of time when they would be on.   It would be helpful if they were easily accessed online.

The CBC is also not offering many new stories related to the elections.  Today a possible end to the downtown skateboard ban makes the news headlines but nothing to do with the elections

On their website there is no indication that we are in the middle of an election.  Yesterday's 30 minute newcast did not have a single mention of the elections.

They have made no effort to offer any online resources for the elections.

CTV Vancouver Island
They had a single story related to the local elections yesterday but it is only about election signs and not about any issues of candidates.

They have made no effort to offer any online resources for the election
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