Skip to main content
VIII Congreso Internacional de la AE-IC, Barcelona 2022

Programa completo »

The impact of liberalisation of the media: The case of Ghana.

The twenty-first century society is driven by information availability and accessibility and this has informed the “right to know” campaign worldwide. To achieve this, democracies have promulgated constitutions to allow the media to transmit information to the masses (Nyarko, Mensah, & Owusu-Amoh, 2018). In Ghana as in much of Africa, media networks such as radio, television, newspapers, and online (new media) are the channels through which the media operate. Among the list of media outlets, radio is the utmost prevalent and accessible medium hence political parties have noticed its accessibility and relevance in influencing decision-making in the country (Nyarko, Mensah & Owusu-Amoh, 2018). Despite challenges faced at the onset, there has been a steady rise in radio production in Ghana over the past 20 years (Klamar, 2020). The Ghanaian media structure has gone through different phases when the airwaves were liberalized, from the springing up of many privately-owned radio stations to the period where some of these stations got shut down for non-compliance. The Ghanaian constitution labels the media as a fourth estate; identifying the media’s watchdog role over the other arms of government. The watchdog role makes the government accountable to the citizens. First, the study seeks to investigate the ownership of the media using bibliographical and documental research, and second, to what extent does the freedom and independence of the media impacts the democratic governance in Ghana. To achieve the aim of the study, data was gathered from listeners of four major radio stations in Accra: one state-owned English-speaking radio, a private English-speaking radio station, a state-owned local language radio network and one privately owned local language radio station. With the use of convenient sampling and purposive sampling, one hundred respondents were given a questionnaire to fill out to gather quantitative data. Fifty respondents were the program managers and fifty respondents were news editors. To supplement this, qualitative data was also gathered through interviews with programme directors and editors of the four radio stations. With the use of the agenda-setting theory, the findings were analyzed thematically on the influence of media ownership on the management and operations of radio stations. Contrary to constitutional guarantees of media independence, the study revealed that media practitioners working in the state-owned media are restrained from exercising their independent journalistic role. The political party in power has an enormous influence on the news story selection of journalists at the state-owned media. The study also revealed that the private media are unimpeded in exercising their independent journalistic task if the target is a competitor to their owners’ political party and they exercise their independent journalist role whether the target of the investigations is in government or not. The study, therefore, concludes that the structure of the state-owned and private-owned media organisations in Ghana function differently. The state-owned media are politically controlled by the government while the private media, although, independent in their journalistic obligations, tend to affiliate themselves with a political party of the owner

Hans Bernard Nii Ofori Quaye
Universitat Jaume I


Patrocinado por OpenConf®
Derechos de autor ©2002-2020 Zakon Group LLC