MFWA releases Fourth Week Report on Monitoring of language use on radio
5/10/2012 9:49:16 PM -
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has released findings for the fourth week of monitoring of language use on radio. The report covers the period April 22 to 28, 2012 in the use of indecent expression on 31 radio stations that are being monitored across the country. The findings for the week show a steady decline.
The highlights of the findings are that:
* Nine indecent expressions were used during the week.
* Five of the expression were made by persons affiliated to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC); and four by persons affiliated to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
* Six out of the nine expressions were made on programmes aired in the Akan Language.
MFWA in its bid to promote issues-based and decent language campaigning in Ghana's 2012 elections launched the project to monitor and report indecent expression by politicians and political activists in the campaign process. The project involves monitoring specific programmes on the selected radio stations, and exposing politicians and activists who use indecent expressions as well as naming the radio stations on which such expressions are made.
A network of 31 trained monitors has been monitoring expression use on the radio since April 1, 2012.
The project is being funded by STAR-Ghana.
Below is the full report on findings of the fourth week of monitoring.
FINDINGS FOR WEEK FOUR OF MONITORING LANGUAGE USE ON RADIO
This is Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) report for the fourth week of monitoring language use on radio. This Project is aimed at promoting issues-based and decent language campaigning before, during and after the 2012 elections. The report covers findings of the week, April 22 to 28, 2012.
In all, monitoring reports were received from 27 out of the 31 selected radio stations being monitored under the project. Forty-four monitoring reports were received from the monitors of 27 radio stations. Out of the 44, only seven (7) contained indecent expressions. This report is, therefore, based on the seven reports.
General findings on Expressions
The seven reports which contained indecent expressions registered a total of ten indecorous expressions. Nine of them were made by discussants/interviewees/callers, but the remaining one was made by a presenter. The unacceptable expression used by the presenter was a remark supporting violence.
Three out of the nine indecent expressions made by discussants/interviewees/callers were remarks calling for confrontation and violence; another three were unsubstantiated allegations; one of them was an insulting/offensive comment; another one was a remark that promotes divisiveness and the other one was an innuendo. No provocative remark and/or a comment containing a tribal slur was recorded during the week.
Expressions used by Officials/Supporters and their Political Party Affiliation
For the week under review, the nine indecent expressions were made by individuals who identified with the two major political parties in the country, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The findings showed that, in the fourth week, five of the nine indecent expressions were made by NDC supporters, whereas the remaining four were made by NPP supporters. Specifically, out of the three remarks calling for confrontation and violence, two were made by persons affiliated to the NDC whereas the other one was made by an NPP supporter.
The only insulting/offensive comment registered was made by a supporter of the NDC and so was the only comment that promotes divisiveness and the only innuendo captured in the report. On the other hand, all the three unsubstantiated allegations were made by persons affiliated to the NPP.
Below are the names of the individuals who used the nine indecent expressions and the platforms on which they used them:
Remarks Calling for or Supporting Confrontation and Violence
· On April 26, 2012, during Peace FM's' Mid-day News' interview, Joseph Bediako, a FONKAR sympathiser made a remark calling for confrontation and violence against Joseph Yarmin, the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NDC.
· In response, Joseph Yarmin, who was also interviewed on the same platform made another remark calling for confrontation and violence against Joseph Bediako.
· During Space FM's'Morning Flight' programme aired on April 24, 2012,Paa Clement of the NPP made another of such comments.'
· On April 27, 2012, Awal Mohammed of the NDC made an offensive comment against the NPP Flagbearer, Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, on Diamond FM's'Diamond Power Drive' programme.
Comment promoting Divisiveness
· Fatawu Ismael, an NDC representative on Radio Progress''Newspaper Review' programme aired on 24th April, 2012, made a comment that promotes divisiveness.
· Simon AdomBoafo of the NDC used an innuendo againstMr.Kennedy Agyapongduring Space FM's'Morning Flight' programme of April 24, 2012.
· Captain Victor Okaikwei of the NPP made an unsubstantiated allegation during Citi FM's 'Inside Politics' programme aired on April 27, 2012.
· Collins Mahama of the NDC made another unsubstantiated allegation onSpace FM's'Morning Flight' programme of April 24, 2012.
· On Classic FM's'Big Breakfast Show' programme aired on April 23, 2012,John Donyina of the NPP made another unsubstantiated allegation against President John Evans Atta Mills.The expressions used were also divisive in nature.
On April 23, the Presenter of 'Kokonsa' Reporting, a programme that is aired on Radio Gold, made a remark that supported the violence meted out against Ms. Ursula Owusu, NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Ablekuma South.
Expressions used on Specific Programmes/Subjects
This week, six out of the nine indecent expressions were made on four programmes aired in the Akan language.
Morning political discussion programmes aired in the Akan language registered more than half (5) of the indecent expressions recorded over the period. Another two of the indecent expressions were recorded on mid-day news (including interview within news), one on evening/night political discussion programme and the other one during a newspaper review programme.
Specifically, two out of the three unsubstantiated allegations were made during morning political discussions and the other one was made on a newspaper review programme. The only offensive comment registered, and the only innuendo recorded were each made during morning political discussion programmes. Again, one out of the three remarks calling for confrontation and violence was registered on a morning political discussion programme while the other two were made during mid-day news (including interview within news). An evening/night political discussion programme elicited the only expression that promotes divisiveness.
Political party activities/matters were found to be the main subjects of discussions/stories which elicited most of the indecent expressions recorded over the one week period. In fact, discussions/stories that centred on political party activities recorded five out of the nine indecent expressions made by the discussants/interviewees/callers. On the other hand, internal wrangling in the NDC elicited two out of the nine indecent expressions. The other two indecent expressions were made during discussions/stories on the on-going biometric registration and the other on conflict resolution between the Abudus and the Andanis in Dagbon.
Expressions used on Radio Stations
The nine indecent expressions made by discussants/interviewees/callers were broadcast on six radio stations: Space FM in Sunyani, Peace FM in Accra, Radio Progress in Wa, Classic FM in Techiman, Citi FM in Accra, and Diamond FM in Tamale.
Specifically, Space FM recorded three out of the nine indecent expressions used; Peace FM registered two and the other four radio stations recorded one each. Two out of the three remarks calling for confrontation and violence were made on Peace FM while the other one was captured on Space FM. Space FM also registered the only innuendo captured over the period. Again, one of the three unsubstantiated allegations was made on Space FM. The other two unsubstantiated allegations were made on Classic FM and Citi FM. The only offensive comment recorded was made on Diamond FM while Radio Progress registered the only expression that promotes divisiveness.
Generally, the hosts/presenters of the various programmes on which the indecent expressions were used showed professionalism. Specific mention can be made of the following hosts/presenters who tried to ensure that discussants/interviewees/callers stuck to issues under discussion and/or asked for evidence for certain unsubstantiated allegations made on their network: Nana Kyei (Nana Kass) of Space FM, Richard Dela Sky of Citi FM and Mutaka Mohammed of Diamond FM.
MFWA is once again calling on all hosts/presenters to always moderate their respective programmes with professionalism by insisting that their guests/callers stick to issues and ensuring that indecent expressions are not used on their networks. Also, emulating the examples of the above mentioned moderators will contribute a lot to the promotion of issues-based and decent language campaigning for the 2012 elections.
MFWA is encouraged by the fact that there has been a steady reduction in the number of indecent expressions used on radio since the second week of this project. We hope that this will continue and, therefore, call on all radio stations, hosts/presenters, and political party officials/supporters to support the pursuit of decent and civil political discourse.
Issued by MFWA in Accra on May 10, 2012
The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and all forms of expression.
For more information please contact:
Kwame Karikari (Prof)
Tel: 233-0302-24 24 70
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