Populism, Media and Elections in Zambia: The case of the Patriotic Front in the 2011 and 2016 elections
Keywords:populism, populist media, elections, Zambia, Michael Sata, Patriotic Front (PF)
This paper interrogates the intermingling of populist politics and the media in Zambia. It analyses populist tendencies the country’s 2011 and 2016 presidential elections. The examination of the 2011 elections considers this coming together of populist Patriotic Front (PF) party figures and the media through the lens of The Post Newspaper, representing ‘old’ media. The 2016 elections examination focuses on alternative media, particularly looking at how the PF utilised popular music and social media, to communicate its populist ideas. The analysis shows that the PF, with and without their populist founder Michael Sata, managed to maintain close ties with the media for their political success. Later, they were willing to utilise and harness the potential of alternative media to meet their objectives in 2016. The paper however warns that the merging of media with populism is a danger that heavily compromises the ability of the media to serve the public as they should.
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).