Elections are fertile ground for disinformation. The 2019 midterm elections, like the 2016 presidential election, buttress this observation. This ugly side of electoral contests is documented by Tsek.ph, a pioneering collaborative fact-checking initiative launched by three universities and eleven newsrooms specifically for the midterms. Its repository of fact checks provides valuable insights into the nature of electoral disinformation before, during and after the elections. Clearly, electoral disinformation emanates from candidates and supporters alike, on conventional (e.g., speeches and sorties) and digital (e.g., social media) platforms. Its wide range of victims includes the media no less.
The Making of the Philippine President: A Textual Analysis of Mythical Archetypes in the TV News Reports of the 2010 Presidential Elections
Journalists will dispute that they work with myths or archetypes in writing and producing the news yet there is evidence that these are used to frame stories so that they resonate with readers or viewers. This critical discourse analysis using Richardson’s (2007) framework for newspapers studied 278 candidate reports out of 644 election-related accounts on the 2010 Philippine presidential election in the news programs TV Patrol and 24 Oras from January to May 2010. The analyses identified the character portrayals of the candidates and were then matched with familiar archetype qualities identified by Lule (2001). Archetypes in the media are potentially powerful communication frames that could impact on the political literacy of the electorate, especially in a predominantly commercial broadcast environment where there is hardly airtime for lengthy discussion of public issues.