Wednesday, February 27, 2019 07.50PM / Bukola Akinyele and Nifemi Taiyese
for Proshare WebTV
The 2019 Presidential Elections in Nigeria was another critical and defining moment in Nigeria’s socio-political history.
The two major contenders out of a field of 73 Presidential candidates were President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress Party and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In the early hours of Wednesday February 27, 2019 the Independent National Electoral Commission announced President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the elections.
It was a major election with both Foreign and Local Media giving massive coverage of the event.
We highlight the various ways in which a frenetic international and local media covered the Polls
Social Media Engagement
The social media was the most active platform that generated a lot of activity from the foreign and local media as it concerned the Presidential elections.
Major platforms like leading TV Stations such as Channels TV used the hashtag #TheVerdict for its coverage and had a “Poll Stream” to gain feedback and captured moments and comments of Nigerians across the country and in the diaspora.
WebTV a leading Nigerian business and economic online TV platform powered by Proshare also had the hashtag #CivicDuty where it showcased notable business leaders like Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr Femi Otedola performing their civic responsibilities during the elections.
Nigerian online news platforms like “The Cable”,“Premium Times”,“Sahara Reporters” and “Pulse Nigeria” also dominated the social media space with updates using twitter and other digital platforms.
International Media like the BBC did a credible job of giving analysis of the Polls, using versatile social media tools to provide short stories and lively infographics on the State-by-State announcement of results; making evolving information easy for people to understand.
Leading Newspapers in the country like Thisday, Vanguard, Guardian, Punch, Leadership, The Nation, Daily Trust and BusinessDay Media set up their daily live blogs on social media to give timely updates on the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Television stations like Channels, African Independence Television, Arise, TVC News, Silverbird, Nigerian Television Authority amongst others throughout the day of the Presidential Elections, provided live coverage giving a situation analysis from the 36 States of the Federation including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This also featured Analysis and discussions with programmes like “The Verdict” by Channels TV, which was an opportunity for guests to engage and discuss critical issues before, during and after the elections.
Apart from Channels TV, other TV stations like TVC News, Arise, AIT hosted very rich and insightful programmes that enlightened viewers on critical political issues.
From radio stations like NigerianInfo radio, Wazobia, RayPowerFM,Inspiration FM, Rainbow FM (all other radio stations across the country), Nigerians were receiving key news updates through the medium.
The Breaking news on twitter-social media platforms was a key feature as media platforms were in top competition to be the first to deliver updates during the polls.
TV Stations also scrolled on their bars latest developments from various polling units in the country.
Highlighting the Issues of Violence, Electoral Issues
The elections experienced skirmishes and pockets of violence in States like Rivers, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Imo, amongst others.
This would have been nested in the backwaters of history if the media (foreign and local) covering the elections did not highlight the incidents.
Some journalists took uncommon risks to highlight scenes and hotspots of violence across the country; acts deserving of commendation.
Language and Culture
The BBC Radio Language-Segments in Nigeria, was an innovative platform that aided the coverage of the polls.
BBC has Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin segments which were collectively and individually useful in connecting local Nigerians to unfolding election activities.
Indeed of all media coverage, the BBC outdid itself in the quality, speed and accuracy of its coverage of the 2019 Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly polls, setting a high watermark for other electronic media platforms.
Some of the Foreign and Local Media Stations That Covered The 2019 Nigerian Presidential Elections