This report focuses on the role of factual debate and discussion programming on political participation. It uses data from Nepal, where BBC Media Action's political debate programme Sajha Sawal (Common Questions) has been broadcast nationally on radio and TV for more than five years. While there are many studies exploring the impact of news media (a one-way, \"monologic\" format), studies of discussion and debate programmes (\"dialogic formats\") are much less common. There is also a lack of evidence from developing countries; most evidence published in peer-reviewed academic journals comes from Europe and North America. To address both gaps, this study spoke to 4,000 Nepali citizens to investigate whether exposure to a political debate programme could influence political participation. The study found that exposure to Sajha Sawal in Nepal is significantly associated with an increase in political participation and discussion. How much a person was exposed to Sajha Sawal was also a factor; the more exposure, the greater the level of political participation and discussion.
See also the Research Briefing prepared for this report.
BBC Media Action. How do political debate programmes influence political participation? A case study from Nepal. Research Report Issue 1. BBC Media Action, UK (2013) 60 pp.