Abusive Campaign Language: Radio Presenter, NPP Chairman Most Culpable

The second language monitoring report of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has cited Nana Okatakyie Afrifa Mensah, programme host with Accra-based Happy FM, Listowel Nana Kusi Poku, Executive Secretary of Good Governance Advocacy Ghana, and Kwame Baffoe (also known as Abronye DC), Regional Chairman of the NPP in the Bono Region, as the most abusive on radio.

The three together made more than a third of the 39 indecent expressions recorded over the two-week monitoring period (June 15-30, 2020). Nana Okatakyie Afrifa Mensah, the host of Happy FM’s afternoon programme, Epa Hoa Daben, singlehandedly made six indecent expressions, followed by Listowel Nana Kusi Poku who made five indecent expressions. Kwame Baffoe (Abronye DC) followed with four indecent expressions.

A total of 793 programmes were monitored out of which 39 abusive expressions were recorded. The 39 indecent expressions were made up of insults and offensive comments, unsubstantiated allegations, remarks encouraging violence, threats, comments promoting divisiveness, and provocative remarks.

Overall, officials and affiliates of two major political parties in Ghana – National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) – were captured making unsavoury remarks on radio. Officials and affiliates of the NDC recorded the highest number (14) of indecent expressions. Those of the NPP recorded nine incidents.

In the case of radio stations, out of the 20 radio stations monitored, 10 recorded indecent expressions. Accra-based Oman FM recorded the highest number (9) of indecent expressions on two of their major programmes – Boiling Point (8) and National Agenda (1). All the eight indecent remarks captured on Oman FM’s Boiling Point programme were also recorded on Kumasi-based Ashh FM which picks live feed of the programme.

Happy FM, also based in Accra, followed Oman FM with six indecent expressions, all of which were recorded on its afternoon political programme, Epa Hoa Daben. Nsawkaw-based Tain FM recorded five indecent expressions followed by Radio Justice in Tamale and Accra FM which recorded four indecent expressions each.

The monitoring and reporting of indecent language form part of the MFWA’s project on Promoting Decent Language and Issues-based Campaigning for Peaceful Elections in Ghana in 2020. The project seeks to promote issues-based campaigns and decent language before, during and after Ghana’s 2020 elections.

In Ghana, the project is currently being implemented with funding support from STAR Ghana Foundation and OSIWA. The project is also being implemented in Cote d’Ivoire and Niger with funding support from OSIWA.

The full report which contains the names of the individuals who used indecent expressions and abusive language, and the radio stations on which the expressions were recorded, is available here.

The instrument being 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, Vivian Affoah (0244896588) or Programme Officer, Kwaku Krobea Asante (0248484528).

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