An Investigation of the Impact of Media Content on Voter Perception and Their Choice of Presidential Candidates: A Case Study of Sayare Radio in Kisii Town

An Investigation of the Impact of Media Content on Voter Perception and Their Choice of Presidential Candidates: A Case Study of Sayare Radio in Kisii Town

Author(s) by Jonai Wabwire
Pages 20-26
Keywords Media; Media content; Voter perception; Libralization of Media
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Abstract


An investigation of the impact of media content on voter perceptions and their choice of presidential candidate was carried out in kisii town, Kenya. The study focused on Sayare Radio station whose broadcasts cover the Gusii region. The outcomes of the study show that the media especially Radio is still the dominant source of information on presidential candidates during elections. A total of 79 percent of the respondents indicated they had obtained information on presidential candidates from the media. Media has a significant effect on the opinions of voters. A total of 24 percent of those who listened to broadcasts changed their minds after listening to political programs.Another significant finding was that some respondents who received broadcasts did not know whether their voting choice was influenced by the media or not.Sayare Radio commands a listenership percentage of 35 percent within the Kisii Town region as far as the coverage of political events is concerned. Of the respondents who listened to Sayare Radio’s broadcasts, 50 percent agreed with the position that its coverage of political events leading up to the elections was objective and balanced. Another 39 percent of the respondents who listened to Sayare Radio’s broadcasts disagreed with the position that its coverage of political events leading up to the elections was objective and balanced.A total of 11 percent of the respondents who listened to Sayare Radio’s broadcasts were non – committal on whether or not they were influenced to vote for their candidates of choice by the broadcasts. It is therefore evident that the media has a significant effect on the voter’s opinion when it comes to presidential elections. The media plays a major role in determining the outcome of presidential elections in terms of providing voters with information about presidential candidates and also influencing their opinions on the most suitable candidates to vote for.

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