Abusive campaign language on radio has reduced by 72%, according to a report by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).
A 12-week trend analysis of the use of campaign language on radio covering the period July-September, 2016 shows a 72% reduction in the number of indecent expressions monitored on 60 radio stations across the country. During the period, a total of 97 indecent expressions were recorded on a total of 4,603 radio programmes.
Six political parties – New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), National Democratic Party (NDP), People’s National Congress (PNC) and a group introduced as National Labour Party (NLP) were also cited for the use of indecent expression during the period.
Overall, six different categories of indecent expressions were used by officials, supporters and affiliates of political parties. Provocative Comments (32) was the most used indecent expressions during the monitoring period. Other indecent expressions used during the period were unsubstantiated allegations (31), insulting & offensive comments (23) divisive comments (5) remarks endorsing violence (4) and remarks inciting violence (2).
As far as radio stations are concerned, Accra-based Happy FM topped the pack of stations that recorded the use of abusive expressions on their platforms with 30 incidents followed by Montie FM (8) and Okay FM (8).
The MFWA campaign language monitoring project seeks to encourage people to be measured in their use of language by naming and shaming those who use abusive expressions on radio. The project titled, Promoting Issues-based and Decent Language Campaigning for Peaceful Elections in Ghana in 2016 is being carried out with funding support from OSIWA, STAR-Ghana, the EU (through Socioserve-Ghana) and the Embassy of France in Ghana.