Radio stations responsible for 70 percent of media violence – MFWA

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Radio stations are the “worst perpetrators of ethical violence” in the media space, the Media Foundation For West Africa (MFWA) has disclosed.

This was contained in a report of its monitoring of media ethics. According to MFWA, from 15 to 30 June 2020, it “monitored ethical violations on 26 news organisations” made up of 10 Akan-speaking radio stations, 10 newspapers and six news websites.

“A total of 936 pieces of content from the 26 organisations were monitored and analysed out of which 116 ethical violations were recorded.”

The report also revealed that pro-party stations such as Power FM and Oman FM recorded the highest violence incidents.

“Pro-NDC Power FM’s afternoon political talk show, Inside Politics, hosted by Mugabe Maase and the station’s current affairs programme, Battle Ground, hosted by Oheneba Barnie, had the highest incidents of ethical violations of 13 and 12, respectively.

“Pro-NPP Oman FM’s Morning Show, National Agenda, hosted by Yaw Amofa, and Happy FM’s current affairs programme, Epa Ho a Daben programme, hosted by Nana Okatakyie Afrifa Mensah, also recorded 12 ethical violations each,” the report indicated. It continued: “Overall, radio stations emerged as the worst perpetrators of ethical violations, accounting for 70% of the violations recorded”.

“This is followed by news websites (25%) as the main culprit, accounting for 12 violations. The remaining five per cent of violations came from the 10 newspapers.”

The report also noted that “hosts of many political talk shows and news anchors on radio are complicit in the use of unethical language on radio, as they make no efforts at restraining panellists and interviewees who used inappropriate words on their programmes. In fact, some news anchors and radio show hosts were noted to be inciting and encouraging panellists and guests to make unethical and offensive statements.”

It further observed that “editors of some news websites leave the comments sections of their pages unregulated making it a platform where readers often trade insults and peddle unsubstantiated allegations.”

The monitoring of media ethics by MFWA forms part of a project titled: Enhancing media professionalism to inspire public confidence and support for press freedom in Ghana.

The project is being implemented with funding support from the Embassy of the Netherlands.

It is aimed at identifying and highlighting incidents of ethical violations and drawing attention to such breaches to foster adherence to the ethical principles of media organisations.