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Journalists present factual news on elections, trumps social media
November 23, 2016, 10:53 am
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Mohye Amer, an parliamentary editor at Aljarida newspaper

Although modern media, notably social networks, constitute a main source of information ahead of to the 2016 parliamentary elections, the role of journalists in covering and analyzing electoral activities remains absolutely indispensable.

On the issue, a number of journalists told KUNA that the social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube matter so much to candidates and voters alike.

However, they opined that professional journalism remains more accurate and credible in covering the democratic race.

Mohye Amer, an parliamentary editor at Aljarida newspaper said that eventhough modern media can be very useful for journalists, professionalism necessitates that news reporters shouldn't rely on such media means in covering the process.

But, Amer pointed out that sometimes journalists can be forced to depend on social media networks due to candidates' intensive campaigns.

He added that the new technology "will remain for us journalists as a double-edged weapon in which we get valuable material from candidates' pages on different social media networks, therefore, the campaign is displayed according to the candidates' taste and desire.

Amer acknowledged that modern technology spurs journalists not to go to candidates' stations, stating that social media has established itself as a main player in the media field where a large number of people uses them as a source for news.

But, he believed, the press will remain the reliable source for a large segment of audience, enhanced by the space of freedom given to the press in Kuwait.

On his part, Mahmoud Al-Zahy, a news editor at Al-Qabas newspaper, said that the current parliamentary elections race shows that candidates give a little attention to the printed press in comparison with different social media networks.

Al-Zahy added that the social network evolution resulted in increasing the competition between new and traditional media outlets, pointing out that some interviews aired on YouTube for some candidates cost nearly KD 10,000 KD, therefore, candidates don't give attention to have journalists cover their campaigns anymore.

However, Waleed Al-Houlan, a journalist with Al-Rai newspaper, believes that journalists should gather electoral news by themselves and attend relevant activities and events so that they could deliver a realistic picture on the ground.

He added that the way a journalist handles topics is totally different from that by the ordinary person who can only write posts on social networks.

Al-Houlan emphasized that the journalists should depend on their personal efforts rather than social media to cover and monitor the electoral process. 

Source: KUNA

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