Television: How Political Debates Took Center Stage

Many TV stations came up with new programmes to keep viewers updated and educated on the electoral process and campaigns.

The presidential election has come and gone though the sun is yet to completely set on the entire process which is expected to culminate in the swearing in of the champion, Paul Biya in the days ahead. But the thrill of period stretching from the convening of the electorate to the declaration of results by the Constitutional Council will certainly remain in the hearts and minds of citizens nationwide who were treated to numerous political TV shows and debates.

From observations from social media debates and street corners and public places, the citizenry was more than ever before inte rested in politics during this period, though a majority of the millions of debaters did not actively take part in the poll. With an avalanche of fake news on social media,

Cameroonians were obliged to turn to traditional media, particularly radio and TV for the right information. A panoramic view of local television channels showed the media houses were poised to satisfy the desires of the people.

For instance, on Canal 2 Internationale, several programs were introduced like “Ce Qui'l Faut Decrypte” which went beyond presenting images, videos and campaign messages, to analysis and comments mostly with political experts. They also introduced “Face Aux Electeurs,” which gave room for the various candidates to talk to voters. Almost all candidates took part in the program, presenting details of what they intend to do when elected, and how they will tackle the problems and challenges in the country.

Another programme that kept viewers glued to Canal 2 was, "Corps Electorale" which had to do with everything about the election; what was being done before campaigns, during campaigns, and during voting; the code of conduct, the different parties and ideologies. Guests on these programmes included party representatives and political experts.

And then there was "2018 Presidential" with candidates or spokespersons. Other local private TV stations like LTM, Equinoxe, Vision 4 and STV equal came up with a series of programs as part of the general scramble for viewers.

Just like private TV stations, the state broadcaster, CRTV, also introduced a handful of new programmes such as "Me Debrief," "Between The Lines", "Vent de Campagne," "100% Presidentielle" and "Face The Nation" to inform and educate viewers to make the right decisions throughout the whole electoral process. TV stations also advertised their political programs on the internet.

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