0152C: Sourcing Candidate Information

So I conducted a cursory evaluation of various local news sites in order to see how they're approaching the start of the election campaign season. You would think that by now the news agencies would have the mindset of setting up dedicated sections focused on Halalan 2013, especially in terms of helping readers learn more about the candidates.

After reviewing the sites of the major broadsheets and new channels, it looks like only ABS-CBN News and The Philippine Star have some form of candidate profile pages relatively easy to locate from the homepage. The Inquirer only has an article soliciting questions from readers to be sent along to the candidates and the social media focused Rappler only has an elections-centric page towards the bottom of the homepage that seems to just gather articles that have been appropriately tagged - which naturally is a bit of a mess right now.

What does this say about our media resources at this point? Do we simply have bad reporters or does this reflect what they've learned over the years in terms of what readers seem to look for. Yes, the actual Elections are about three months away, but that doesn't mean that the voters wouldn't be interested in reading about the specific platforms and accomplishments of each candidate. Instead, it seems to imply that your average reader, even an internet-capable one, is only interested in news highlights and maybe the latest scandal instead the platforms of each candidate.

My next exercise will be reviewing the various candidate-specific websites (if any are available) and see what information can be gleaned from them. I've already seen a number of them so I know how bad things are going to be. But hey, this is an intellectual exercise at this point - a careful evaluation of the election climate to help me assess how bad things really are. And if candidates don't publish their campaign platforms, well, we know that they have other priorities in this campaign.

Outside the national race, I took some time to also determine what exactly our district is and who our Congressman is. I now know that we're part of District III of Quezon City. The only two candidates for this area are (1) the incumbent and (2) the prior incumbent who was defeated by the current Congressman in his efforts to win a third term. Oh joy. The list of legislative achievements for both representatives weren't overly impressive since they mostly had added in a few weird silly bills here and there, but that's sort of par for the course.

So yes, I don't feel at all encourage to venture into our democratic process in any significant manner just yet.
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