Promoting insults on the airwaves: Asempa FM tops them all
4/24/2012 5:30:33 PM -
Findings from a week-long radio monitoring work carried out by the Media Foundation for West Africa indicates that Accra based Asempa FM ranks highest among all radio stations in the country in allowing its platform to be used to spew out insulting and abusive language.
Also, the April 1 to 7, 2012 monitoring project graded Citi FM as the station that recorded the highest number of remarks calling for confrontation and violence, while Fox FM in Kumasi and Ankobra FM in Axim were rated as the stations promoting conciliatory comments.
In the week under review, a total of 22 indecent expressions were recorded, and they ranged from provocative remarks, insulting and offensive comments, remarks calling for confrontation and violence, expressions or comments promoting divisiveness, to innuendoes
There were also seven incidents of comments considered pacifist, conciliatory, civil and non-provocative.
The findings showed that indecent expressions occurred predominantly during morning and evening discussion programmes aired in the Akan language, with the indecent expressions on morning programmes calling for confrontations and violence while evening and night discussion programmes featured mainly insulting and offensive comments.
'More than a third of the adversarial, harsh, provocative tones were used by discussants/callers who are affiliated to the NPP (35.7%) and NDC (35%). A significant number of the NPP and NDC discussants/callers also used threatening, overbearing, swearing tones,' MFWA explained.
MFWA said it was, however, 'pleased to note that findings from the first week of monitoring have shown that most of the programmes focussed more on issues (33.3%) than personalities (25.9%).'
According to the Media Foundation for West Africa, the objective for introducing a rating regime for media houses and radio presenters 'is to contribute to ensuring issues-based and decent language campaigning in the 2012 elections, by monitoring and exposing political parties, activists and radio stations that use indecent expressions.'
Deputy Director of the Media Foundation, Sulemana Briamah, explained on a number of radio stations that it went through a rigorous and professional monitoring exercise for a week to arrive at their conclusions.
MFWA about a month ago launched its project on: 'Promoting Issues-based and Decent Language campaigning for a Peaceful, Free and Fair Elections in Ghana in 2012,' informed by the increasing resort to indecent expressions among political activists in elections-related and general political discussions on radio.
The project involves daily monitoring of campaign language or expressions by politicians and activists on specific programmes on 31 radio stations across the country. The monitoring also includes assessing the conduct of the stations that are being monitored. To ensure that the monitoring is reliable and credible, a comprehensive monitoring instrument was developed through the support of language experts from the University of Ghana, the Ghana Bureau of Languages and a Consultant from the School of Communication Studies.
The monitoring instrument was presented at a public forum for validation by key stakeholders including the National Media Commission, Ghana Journalists' Association, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, Religious Bodies, Political Parties, CODEO, and other Civil Society Organisations.
MFWA commended Fox FM and Ankobra FM for promoting civil and pacifist languages on their network, while encouraging other radio stations across the country 'to insist and ensure that language used on their networks promote peace and dignity in our political discourse.'