An evaluation of the electronic and print media influence on voter participation in Lusaka District of Zambia: A case of Munali Constituency

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Banda, Rahabe
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University of Zambia
The study was aimed at evaluating the influence of electronic and print media on voter participation in Munali Constituency of Lusaka District of Zambia. It was guided by three objectives which were: to establish whether voter participation is influenced by the electronic and print media; to investigate how the electronic and print media influence voter participation; ascertain if voters have access to both electronic and print media. The study employed qualitative approach. The study was a descriptive survey which employed qualitative approach. Data was collected through interviews, focus group discussions and document review. The sample size was hundred and four (104) from residential areas, markets, taxi-ranks, Media houses, Non-governmental Organisation(NGOs),Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and Munali Member of Parliament(MP). Purposive and simple random samplings were used to sample residential areas, markets and tax-ranks of Munali Constituency. The media houses, NGOs, ECZ and an MP were sampled using purposive sampling. Data was analysed thematically. The findings of the study were that voter participation is influenced by the electronic and print media. However, there are other factors such as political rallies, door to door campaigns and voter education done by civil society and the ECZ that also influence voter participation. Findings on how the electronic and print media influence voter participation were; through adverts, drama, interviews done with the aspiring candidates of various political parties, ECZ officials, and Civil Society involved in the elections, and by airing political party rallies. The findings on public access to both electronic and print media was that electronic media is more accessible than print media. From the findings, the study recommends that both the electronic and print media should not be biased in their reporting during the election period. They must be factual and objective, they ought to give accurate information to the voters. Print media must also be affordable to voters and should reach even the remotest areas of Zambia. Newspapers written in English Language should be translated into local languages. Finally, further research should be conducted on the best ways of influencing voter participation and how other stakeholders in the electoral process influence voter participation.
A thesis in Education