Week 12 of the Media Foundation for West Africa?s (MFWA) monitoring of indecent expressions on radio shows a significant reduction in the use of indecent expressions.

The latest findings which covered June 17-23, 2012 recorded a total of five indecent expressions. All the indecent expressions were made on five different radio stations. Again, supporters of the two major political parties in the country, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), were the main culprits in the use of indecent expressions.

While supporters of the NDC made three of the indecent expressions, the NPP followed closely with two. Fred Agbenyo, a member of the NDC Communications Team, and Matthew Opoku Prempeh, an NPP Member of Parliament for Manyhia, were found to have used indecent expressions during the period.

This is the second time that less than 10 indecent expressions have been recorded since the beginning of the monitoring exercise in April 2012.  The first was during Week Four (April 22 to28, 2012) of the monitoring where nine indecent expressions were recorded.

Monitoring language-use on radio is a project by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) with funding from STAR-Ghana. The project is aimed at ensuring issues-based and decent language campaigning in this year?s polls. It involves daily monitoring of language/ expressions by politicians and activists on specific programmes on 31 selected radio stations across the country.

General Findings on Expressions used

A total of 62 reports were received on programmes monitored on the 31 radio stations selected for the project. Indecent expressions were captured on five of the programmes and these were made up of three unsubstantiated allegations, one provocative remark and one innuendo. They were all made on political discussion programmes aired in the morning.

Expressions Used by Discussants and their Political Party Affiliation

Three of the five indecent expressions were made by three supporters/affiliates of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) while the remaining two were made by two members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Two of the three unsubstantiated allegations were made by members of the NDC while an NPP person made the remaining one. The only provocative remark recorded was made by an NDC supporter whereas the only innuendo was made by an NPP Member of Parliament for Manhyia.

These findings once again show that for the sixth week running, no supporter/affiliate of the Convention People?s Party (CPP), People?s National Convention (PNC) or any of the other opposition parties made an indecent expression on any of the 31 radio stations being monitored under the project.

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

Unsubstantiated allegations

? Nana Ama, an NPP serial caller ? during Royals FM?s Adekyea Mu Nsem programme of June19, 2012

?   An NDC serial caller from Sekondi who identified himself as Eben ? during Skyy FM?s Jolly Breakfast Show programme aired on June 20, 2012

? Fred Agbenyo, a member of the NDC communications team ? during Oman FM?s National Agenda programme of June 19, 2012

Provocative remark

?Yeboah, an NDC serial caller from Brekum ? on Space FM?s Morning Flight programme of June 18, 2012 [The host, Nana Kyei (Nana Kass), asked the caller to retract the comment but the caller went off air]

Innuendo

? Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, NPP MP for Manhyia ? on Joy FM?s News File programme of June 23, 2012

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 five indecent expressions were captured on five radio stations. For the week under review, no radio station registered more than one indecent expression. Table 1 below shows the radio stations on which the various categories of indecent expressions were captured.

Table 1:            Radio Stations on which Indecent Expressions were recorded

Conclusion

The MFWA is encouraged that the level of indecent expressions on radio has reduced significantly for the twelfth week of monitoring. It is hoped that this trend will continue so that the electoral campaigns will be issues-based.

The MFWA is also encouraging moderators to continue to handle their programmes with professionalism by insisting on the use of decent expressions by persons who appear on their programmes at all times.

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 all forms of expression.

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