The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) led the way in indecent language on radio, followed by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), during the period April 18 to April 30, 2016, according to a radio language monitoring report by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).
The MFWA’s monitoring of campaign language on 40 radio stations recorded a total of 87 indecent expressions on 18 of the 40 radio stations monitored, with officials and supporters of the NPP leading the pack with 27 incidents of foul language, followed by the ruling NDC, with 16.
They were followed by the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the New Labour Party (NLP) with four incidents each; the National Democratic Party (NDP) with two; and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and People’s National Convention (PNC) with one incident each.
A total of 516 radio programmes were monitored by the MFWA including morning, midday and evening news bulletins, and current affairs and political discussion programmes.
In decreasing order of frequency, the indecent expressions were in the following five categories: Insulting and Offensive Comments; Unsubstantiated Allegations; Provocative Remarks; Expressions or Comments Promoting Divisiveness; and Remarks Endorsing Violence.
Most of the indecent expressions were recorded occurred on current affairs and political discussion programmes in Akan, which often run for more than three hours.
According to the Media Foundation for West Africa, Accra-based Montie FM topped the list with 22 incidents of indecent language on its frequency, followed by Oman FM with 15 incidents, and Diamond FM and Adom FM with seven each (All of Adom FM’s incidents were also recorded on Nsawkaw-based Tain FM in the Brong Ahafo region)
Notable among the culprits listed in the MFWA’s report were Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi); CEO of the Free Zones Board Kojo Twum Boafo; Nana Ayew Afriyie, NPP Parliamentary candidate for Effiduase Asokore; Abu Ramadan of the PNC; George Andah, NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Awutu Senya West; Ursula Owusu, the NPP MP for Ablekuma West; Ade Coker, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NDC; and Koku Anyidoho and George Lawson, Deputy General Secretaries of the NDC.
Radio presenters were not left out of the descent into the gutters. Captain Smart, the host of Adom FM’s morning show; Mugabe Massie of Muntie FM; Fiifi Boafo, the host of Oman FM’s morning show, and Akua Asabea Kropa also of Oman FM, were among the media professionals faulted for indecent language.
“It is regrettable to have programme presenters not only allowing their platforms to be abused by politicians but also being the abusers themselves,” Abigail Larbi-Odei, MFWA’s Programme Manager for Media and Democracy said.
By Emmanuel Odonkor