International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes), through its authoritative African Elections Project, is adding to its list of publications, a journal on how selected media in Ghana covered violence in the recently held elections.
The publication “Emergent Confrontational Political Subculture: A Content analysis of Media Coverage of Violence in the 2012 General Elections of Ghana” provides a content analysis of how newspapers, television, radio and online news platforms reported on violence beginning from the biometric registration through to voting and a few days after polls with the use of some key words and guidelines. It also reflects the three major frames used by the media in its coverage - human interest frame, responsibility frame to diagnostic frame.
According to findings in the publication, motives for election-related violence were mostly mixed-motivated while state-motivated conflict appeared the least. The publication also reveals that the media reportage of elections related incidents with a negative perspective, instead of a positive or neutral outlook. It also revealed that most of these conflicts were carried out by party supporters and actions were in the form of harassment, show of strength and actual call to violence.
Director of Penplusbytes, Kofi Mangesi, said “this publication comes against the background that all over the world, the media’s contribution to the electoral process is a sensitive subject as it is responsible for the inflammation of passions among citizens of various political, ethnic and social groups. It therefore provides an extensive analysis of how selected media organizations in Ghana responded to issues of violence in the general elections.”
Commenting on the publication, the editor, Prof. P. Amponsah also added that “A strong electoral system cannot be easily circumvented by such foul means as cheating, show of strength, and intimidation of voters. Therefore, by introducing balance in the composition of the electoral management body and the electoral system generally would obviate incentives for inciting violence at various stages of the electoral cycle.”
Penplusbytes’ ultra-modern media monitoring center in collaboration with Prof. P. Amponsah produced this publication with funding from STAR-Ghana. The publication is available in hard copy and soft copy online.