MFWA Faults Local Radio Stations For Neglecting Issues Of Local Development

The Media Foundation For West Africa (MFWA) has expressed concern about what their research proves is the weaning interest of media houses in developmental issues affecting the localities they are set up to serve.

The Studies conducted on radio coverage of local governance issues in selected districts across Ghana revealed many radio stations in Ghana continue to give far less attention to local governance and local development issues.

The studies, which focused on 28 selected radio stations spread across 24 districts in eight out of the 10 regions of Ghana, also evidenced weak capacity and limited understanding of local governance issues among journalists.

Consequently the few local governance programmes and issues that are broadcast on the studied radio stations turned out to be of low quality, highly un-critical and therefore less impactful.

The practice where local radio stations link-up with Accra-based stations during prime time news and programming, was also found to be a significant factor affecting local radio’s focus and impact on local development, participatory and accountable local governance issues.

The programs officer for Media, Development and Democratization of Media Foundation for West Africa Abigail Larbi, speaking on ultimate radio, said the findings are worrying and there is the need to change this situation.

‘When we talk of local radio, we are looking at radio stations that are very close to the people to give them the platform to engage their duty bearers. A lot of these radio stations found within the metropolitan, municipal and district localities, tend to focus more on stories coming from Accra which have little bearings on the local people they are serving,’ she indicated.

As part of its intervention, the Media Foundation for West Africa is organizing a national stakeholders’ forum on Thursday to discuss the challenges of Ghana’s Decentralization and Local Governance Process and the role of the media in dealing with those challenges.

Abigail Larbi outlined that the program is being organized under a national program being organized by MFWA dabbed ‘using radio to promote local governance.’

She outlined that the program is being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Governance and Rural Development, the institute of local government studies (ILGS), the local government secretariat and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE).

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