Monitoring of Indecent Language on Radio (July 1-31,2020)

The July edition of the Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) Elections Campaign Language monitoring has cited National Executives of the two major political parties in Ghana, some Members of Parliament, party activists and radio programme hosts for use of indecent expressions on radio.

The report specifically cites Johnson Aseidu Nketia, the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC); John Boadu, the General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP); and Hon. Benjamin Kofi Ayeh, Former NPP MP for Upper Denkyira West as perpetrators of indecent language on radio; Others were Oheneba Boamah Bennie, host of Accra-based Power FM’s The Battle Ground and Mugabe Maase, host of Power FM’s Inside Politics amongst others.

Over the monitoring period (July 1-31), a total of 2,749 radio programmes were monitored on 35 selected radio stations across the country. The programmes included news bulletins, and political/current affairs discussions aired on the 35 radio stations. A total of 66 indecent expressions were recorded by 36 individuals. The 66 indecent expressions are made up of Insulting and Offensive comments; Unsubstantiated allegations; Inciting violence; Gender-specific insults; Expressions or Comments promoting Divisiveness; and expressions promoting Prejudice and Bigotry. The 36 individuals who made the indecent expressions featured on the radio programmes as hosts, discussants/panelists, interviewees and a texter.

The NDC within this period recorded the highest number of indecent expressions (27) with NPP and United Front Party (UFP) recording 13 and 3 indecent expressions respectively.

16 out of the 35 radio stations monitored recorded indecent expressions. Accra-based Power FM recorded the highest (22) indecent expressions on three of its major programmes – Inside Politics (15), The Battle Grounds (6) and Dwaboase (1). Ahotor FM also based in Accra, recorded seven (7) indecent expressions on its morning show titled Adej kye mu nsem. Accra-based Oman FM followed with six (6) indecent expressions while Kumasi-based Fox FM and Accra-based Okay FM recorded five (5) abusive expressions respectively.

The Elections Campaign language monitoring project seeks to promote issues-based campaigning and use of decent language/expression before, during and after Ghana’s 2020 elections. In Ghana, the project is 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.

Details of the full report 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.

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