MFWA resumes monitoring of language on radio

Professor Kwame Karikari thinks naming and shaming will encourage responsible journalismProfessor Kwame Karikari thinks naming and shaming will encourage responsible journalismThe Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is to resume the monitoring of language on radio ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the election petition.

The move is aimed at encouraging responsible journalism by way of naming and shaming irresponsible media organisations and practitioners.

According to MFWA, this was their contribution to enhancing professionalism and reducing incidence of hate speech and pro-violence expressions in the media.

It was also is in response to the need for the media to contribute to mitigating violence during and after the adjudication of the 2012 Election Petition by the Supreme Court.

MFWA intends to monitor daily expressions on key programmes on 26 radio stations across the country in the next three months beginning Thursday August 1, 2013, issue the findings in weekly reports and communicate to the public to name and shame culprits.

A similar exercise was undertaken during the 2012 electioneering campaign by the non-governmental organisation, which aims at promoting the rights and freedom of the media and of expression.

A statement issued and signed by Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director of MFWA said the exercise was being carried out with funding from STAR-Ghana.

MFWA noted that generally, the legal dispute over the 2012 presidential results at the Supreme Court, coupled with inflammatory comments by political activists mainly from the ruling NDC and opposition NPP, have heightened fears and anxieties about potential violence after the court’s verdict.

It said the project will involve daily monitoring of expressions used by politicians and activists in discussing and commenting on the proceedings and ruling of the court on the 26 selected radio stations across the country.

In addition, the project will involve activities aimed at sensitising the public to accept the verdict of the court in good faith.

This will be done in collaboration with moderators of current affairs and political discussion programmes on the selected stations.

The statement noted that there will also be bi-weekly radio discussion programmes to provide a platform for language experts to discuss the weekly reports and educate the general public on the effects of indecent expression on national peace and stability.

As part of initial activities, a comprehensive monitoring instrument has been developed with the support of language and communications experts and media practitioners.

It said a total of 26 monitors (most of whom worked under the 2012 election campaign monitoring project) have been engaged for the project.

The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and of expression.

Story: Enoch Darfah Frimpong / Graphic.com.gh / Ghana

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