A professor of journalism in Boston on Friday said presidential candidates who do not attend debates should not be taken seriously.
“You must show up when invited to a debate. Any candidate who does not show up must not be taken seriously. The idea is to take everything available for you, whether it is traditional or social media. You must reach every age group and every social economic status,” said Alan Schroeder, a professor of the Northeastern University School of Journalism.
Schroeder had written articles for New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, Politico, Boston Globe, Huffington Post and the Guardian and had authored two books on journalism.
He was the guest speaker at the Lecture Series organized by The Manila Times College based in Intramuros, Manila. The lecture was attended by journalism students from various colleges and universities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The American expert on election visual campaign said there are similarities between the
American and Philippine elections, particularly on issues like dynasty, citizenship, eligibility and interesting non-traditional candidates, who are introducing different game plays.
Schroeder also urged Filipinos to come out and vote, saying not all citizens of a country have the opportunity to choose their leaders. He cited North Korea, a country ruled by a dictator.
He noted that in electoral campaigns, candidates, parties, voters and media have different agendas.
Candidates, Schroeder said, need votes and media exposure, while voters need reliable information from multiple sources.
Journalists, who need content and audiences, must remain independent, unbiased, and avoid being manipulated by propagandists.
Schroeder showed campaign visuals of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Republican candidate Jeb Bush and defeated presidential candidate John McCain.
He said voters need visual literacy skills and so do journalists who must learn how to read visuals.
Schroeder told the students that voters should understand the tools of visual persuasions — color, typography, graphic design, composition and camera angles.
He said messages can be manipulated to produce emotional responses.
Schroeder critiqued the visual showing McCain with his face facing the words “Peace Is Born of Wisdom.” Right in front of his nape, however, are four fighter jets, which contradict his peace advocacy. His face has been lighted just like a photo of a dead person.
McCain lost to Barrack Obama whose graphic projected “hope” for the American people.
In the current campaign, he said Clinton’s visual is simply a blue letter “H” with a red arrow traversing the middle of H, a strong message of advancing the American “forward.” Bush’s campaign visual is a very simple but strong.
“Jeb!” in red, meanwhile, sends the message that he is a serious candidate.