5 July 2012

West Africa: Top Officials of NDC/NPP - Guilty of Indecent Expressions On Radio

press release

Four prominent politicians of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) used indecent expressions during week 13 of the Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) monitoring of language use on radio.

The high-ranking officials were the Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah; a member of the Legal Team of the NDC, David Annan; the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John); and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, NPP Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency.

In all 12 indecent expressions were made from June 24-30, 2012. While the NPP officials/ supporters made seven of the indecorous expressions, the NDC officials/ supporters made four.

Three of the indecent expressions were made on Radio Gold and two on Oman FM.

Below is the full report:

MFWA'S REPORT ON INDECENT LANGUAGE USE ON RADIO

Incidence of indecent expressions on radio moved up from five in the 12th week of monitoring (June 17 - 23, 2012) to 12 in the 13th week (June 24 - 30, 2012). This report is, thus, based on the 12 indecent expressions recorded during the 13th week of monitoring.

Eleven of the 12 indecent expressions were made by male supporters/affiliates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The remaining one was a replay of an indecent remark by a radio station. That is, no female, or any member of the other political parties made an indecent remark on any of the 31 radio stations monitored.

The weekly reports are the outcomes of the monitoring of indecent expressions on radio stations under the project, "Promoting Issues-based and Decent Language Campaigning for a Peaceful, Free and Fair Elections in Ghana in 2012" being funded by STAR-Ghana. The project is aimed at promoting issues-based and decent language campaigning in Ghana's December 2012 polls. It involves daily monitoring of language/expressions by politicians and activists on specific programmes on 31 selected radio stations across the country. The weekly reports are aimed at sensitising the public to know the individuals who make indecent expressions, their political party affiliation and the radio stations on which such expressions are used.

General Findings on Expressions used

Reports were received on 74 of the programmes monitored on 29 out of the 31 radio stations being monitored. A total of 12 indecent expressions were, however, captured on 10 of the programmes monitored on eight radio stations. Most of the indecent remarks were made during political discussion programmes. The main subject of discussion around which half of the indecent expressions were made was the President, Professor John Atta Mill's health.

The 12 indecent expressions were made up of three categories of expressions. The breakdown of those expressions is as follows:

  • Provocative Remarks (5)
  • Unsubstantiated Allegations (4)
  • Insulting/Offensive comments (3)

Expressions Used by Discussants and their Political Party Affiliation

Eleven of the 12 indecent expressions were made by seven officials/supporters of the NPP and four officials/supporters of the NDC. The remaining one was an indecent remark replayed by Peace FM. The breakdown of the specific expressions used and the political affiliation of those who made them is presented in Table 1 below:

Below are the names of the individuals who made the indecent expressions, the radio stations and the dates on which the expressions were made:

Provocative Remarks

1. Hon. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, NPP MP for Assin North - on Adom FM's Dwaso Nsem programme of June 25, 2012

2. Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development - during Kessben FM's Maakye programme of June 26, 2012

3. Mr. Kojo Twum Boafo, a Member of the NDC's Communications Team - during Radio Gold's Newspaper Review segment of the Morning Drive on June 27, 2012

4. A caller from McCarthy Hill who identified himself as Kwame and as an NDC Supporter - on the Tea Cup segment of Radio Gold's Power Drive programme of June 29, 2012

5. Mr. Richard Nyamah, Chairman of Young Patriots of the NPP - during Point Blank on Citi FM. The programme was aired on June 29, 2012

Unsubstantiated allegations

1. Mr. Charles Boakye of the NPP - during Royals FM's Adekyea Mu Nsem programme of June 26, 2012

2. Mr. Adomako Baafi of the NPP's Communications Team - during Oman FM's Boiling Point programme of June 26, 2012

3. A caller from Kumasi who identified himself as Kwaku Asumadu and as a supporter of the NPP - on Asempa FM's Ekosii Sen programme of June 30, 2012

4. Mr. David Annan, a member of the Legal Team of the NDC's - during Radio Gold's Alhaji and Alhaji programme of June 30, 2012

Insulting/ Offensive Comments

1. Mr. Adomako Baafi, a member of the communications team of the NPP - during Oman FM's Boiling Point programme of June 26, 2012

2. Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John), General Secretary of the NPP - on Adom FM's Evening News of June 27, 2012

3. Peace FM replayed an offensive remark by Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, Kwabre West Constituency Chairman of the NPP during its Mid-day News of June 27, 2012.

Note: As a policy, the MFWA has decided not to publish the indecent expressions people make since it will amount to rebroadcasting of those remarks. The MFWA has been urging radio stations to desist from the replay of indecent expressions on their networks since they tend to amplify such expressions and their potentially negative ramifications. Thus, the rebroadcasting of the specific indecent expressions recorded in this monitoring exercise will amount to the same inappropriate action. The specific expressions used by persons cited in our reports are, however, available at the MFWA.

Expressions Used on specific Radio Stations

The 12 indecent expressions were made on eight radio stations. Three of them were made on Radio Gold, two on Adom FM and another two on Oman FM. One indecent expression was recorded on each of the remaining five radio stations. Table 2 below shows the radio stations on which the various categories of indecent expressions were captured.

Conclusion

The MFWA is once again commending the moderators of the various programmes on the 31 radio stations being monitored who continue to insist on issues-based discussions devoid of indecent expressions on their respective airwaves. We are also urging producers and moderators to desist from the replay of indecent expressions since such acts amplify the expressions and their potentially negative consequences.

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