The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has emerged the worst culprit in the use of indecent language on radio ? according to the second monitoring report by the Media Foundation for West Africa.
The NPP scored the highest on the media think tank?s intemperate barometer where a total of 22 NPP officials and supporters monitored over a week were found to have used insulting and offensive words, provocative statements and remarks calling for confrontation and violence.
A total of 29 indecent expressions were recorded on 15 radio stations from April 8 to 14. The expressions range from inappropriate language, insults to remarks calling for confrontation and violence.
Following the NPP as worst culprits are the National Democratic Congress, with the spoils split at 50+ percent for the NPP and 32 percent for the NDC. While the report cites the radio stations on whose platforms the provocative remarks were made, Deputy Executive Director at the MFWA, Sulemana Braimah urged the radio stations to insist on the use of decent language on their platforms.
NPP Communications Director, Nana Akomea, said the party takes the report in good faith and believed that the Media Foundation for West Africa is an organization with integrity and working in good faith.
?We also notice that this is a weekly report and this is a one week period covering 8th to 14th April and it comes out that a lot of our supporters or our communicators have used language that have been classified as inappropriate by the report.?
Asked if the report would change anything with the NPP?s communications, Nana Akomea said the party will examine the cited instances and bring them to the attention of the communicator to ensure effective communication of intent without the use of the inappropriate words.
The full report is published below
Last week, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFW A) presented the maiden report of its language monitoring project, which is aimed at promoting issues-based and decent language campaigning in this year’s elections. The first report was based on monitoring for the first week of April (April 1 to 7, 2012).
This report covers findings on the second week of monitoring (April 8 to 14, 2012). In all, monitoring reports were received from 15 out of the 31 selected radio stations that are being monitored under the project. This report is, therefore, based on data gathered from the IS radio stations, which have been named in the report.
General findings on Expressions used
From the monitoring data gathered a total of 29 indecent expressions were coded on the specific programmes that are being monitored on the 15 radio stations. Specifically, eleven out of the 29 indecorous expressions were in the form of insulting and offensive comments, seven were provocative remarks and six were remarks calling for confrontation and violence. The other five were “expressions containing prejudice and bigotry (2), expressions or comments promoting divisiveness (2) and expressions containing tribal slurs(1).
Expressions used by Officials/Supporters and their Political Party or Group Affiliation
Generally, officials/supporters to the various radio programmes were from almost all the registered political parties in the country with a few discussants belonging to some civil society/pressure groups.
Out of the 29 indecent expressions recorded over the period under review, officials/supporters affiliated to the NPP were found to be those who made majority of the indecorous expressions recorded. More than half (56%) of all the insulting and offensive comments registered were made by officials/supporters associated with the NPP. Officials/supporters affiliated to the NDC made 32 percent of such comments; officials/supporters associated with the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) made eight percent of such expressions whereas four percent of such comments were made by officials/supporters affiliated to the People’s National Convention (PNC).
With regard to all remarks calling for confrontation and violence, officials/supporters associated with the NPP were again found to be in the lead in making such remarks. As much as 77.8 percent of all of the remarks calling for confrontation and violence were made by officials/supporters affiliated to the NPP. Officials/supporters affiliated to the NDC and PPP made 11.1% of such expressions each.
Again, out of all the provocative remarks registered, 47.6 percent of them were made by NPP officials/supporters whereas 33.3 percent were made by officials/supporters affiliated to the NDC. Officials/supporters who identified with the PNC also recorded 9.5 percent of all the provocative remarks and so did officials/supporters who could not be associated with any particular party.
Officials/supporters associated with the NPP and the NDC made 50 percent each of the two expressions containing prejudice/bigotry. Similarly, the NDC and NPP again shared the two expressions or comments promoting divisiveness. The only expression containing tribal slur which was recorded was made by an NPP official/supporter.
In fact, NPP party officials/supporters who featured on the various programmes monitored were those who used indecent expressions the most. A total of 22 NPP officials/supporters were cited as having used indecent expressions. Specifically, six of them used insulting and offensive comments; five of them used provocative remarks and another four of them used remarks calling for confrontation and violence. That is, 15 out of the 22 NPP party officials/supporters who featured on the programmes monitored on the 15 radio stations used indecent expressions.
On the other hand, out of the 12 NDC officials/activists who featured on the programmes monitored, four of them used insulting and offensive comments; two of them used expressions or comments promoting divisiveness; one used a provocative remark and another one used a remark calling for confrontation and violence and another made an expression containing tribal slur.
One PPP officials/supporters was also cited as having used an expression or comment promoting divisiveness.
A castle official was cited to have made one of the remarks calling for confrontation or violence. A traditional ruler also made an expression containing prejudice and bigotry. Two of the insulting and offensive comments were made by non-state official and another person whose affiliation could not be determined.
Expressions used on specific Programmes
On a whole, political discussion programmes which were mostly aired in the Akan language recorded more than half of all the indecent expressions recorded during the period under review. More than half (17) of all the indecent expressions used featured on political discussion programmes.
Expressions used during discussions on specific Subjects
Generally, the main subject of discussion on most of the programmes monitored was the ongoing biometric registration (58.7%) exercise.
Expressions used on Radio Stations
The number of reports received varied from radio station to radio station and so was the incidence of indecent expressions used on the various networks.
Findings from the data gathered from the reports received for the second week showed that three out of the seven provocative remarks used during the period were recorded on Sky FM. Two of them were said on Citi FM and the remaining two were made on Royal FM.
With regard to the use of insulting and offensive comments, North Star FM and Diamond FM registered two each. The other radio stations, Sempra FM, Citi FM, Adam FM, Sky FM, Ankara FM, Space FM and Royal FM, recorded one insulting and offensive comment each over the period.
Out of the two expressions containing prejudice and bigotry, one was made on Citi FM and the other on Radio Upper West.
The two expressions or comments promoting divisiveness were registered on Citi FM and Sky FM whereas the only expression containing tribal slur was made on North Star FM.
In all the six remarks calling for confrontation and violence, two each were made on Citi FM and Diamond FM, and one each on Adom FM and North Star FM.
Generally, moderator’s handling of in-studio discussions, phone-in, text messaging and interviews segments of programmes monitored was good. More than two-thirds of the hosts/presenters were good in handling each of those segments on their programmes with a good number of them acting with professionalism, fairness and asking issue-based questions.
The MFWA wishes to recommend to all radio stations to continually insist on the use of decent expressions by people who feature on their programmes as callers, interviewees and/or discussants.