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Ghana 2020 Elections: Abusive Language on Radio Declined by 79%

The Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) language monitoring project has recorded a 79 per cent decline in the use of abusive language on radio, during the election period (June 2020-January 2021) in Ghana.

The language monitoring project monitored 60 influential radio stations across the country from June 2020 to January 2021. When the project commenced in June 2020, 90 indecent expressions were recorded. However, through MFWA’s campaign against the use of indecent expressions on radio and as well naming and shaming individuals who were cited in the monthly reports, the indecent expressions dropped significantly to 19 in January 2021.

A trend analyses of the 12 most abusive radio stations (out of the 60) show a significant reduction in the use of abusive language from the beginning to the end of the project. Below is a trend analysis of the 12 radio stations.

During the project period, 17,280 programmes were monitored on 60 radio stations across the country. The programmes monitored included news bulletins, current affairs and political discussion shows. A total of 582 indecent expressions were recorded on all the programmes monitored. The four leading indecent expressions cited were Insulting and Offensive Comments (313); Unsubstantiated Allegations (203); Inciting Violence (28) and Provocative Comments (16).

Radio Stations, Political Parties and Use of Abusive Language on Radio

Thirty-four (34) out of the sixty (60) radio stations were cited for the use of indecent expression on their platforms. Cumulatively, officials, supporters and affiliates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) made 218 indecent expressions while those of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was cited for the use of 135 indecent expressions during the monitoring period. The other political parties who were also cited over the period were the United Front Party (UFP) with 26 indecent expressions, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) with eight (8) indecent expressions, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) with four (4) indecent expressions, the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) all recorded one (1) indecent expression each.

The MFWA’s Language monitoring on radio project was implemented with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and STAR-Ghana Foundation with funding from UKAID and EU and USAID through CDD-Ghana.

Download the full report here

The instrument used for the monitoring, which contains the category definitions for tracking and reporting of indecent language on radio is also available here. For further clarifications and media interviews, contact the Programme Manager, Abigail Larbi Odei (0244867047) or Programme Officer, Kwaku Krobea Asante (0249484528).

Source: Media Foundation for West Africa.

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