?In the latest Media Foundation for West Africa?s (MFWA) report on monitoring electoral campaign language on radio for the period, September 2 ? 8, 2012, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency, was once again cited as making indecent expressions on radio.

In the previous weeks? (August 19? ? September 1, 2012) report, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong was named as one of the individuals who made two (2) of the indecent expressions. In the latest report, however, he is cited as making five (5) of the 19 indecent expressions recorded. Hon. Kennedy Agyapong made the five indecorous expressions on Adom FM and Oman FM. On Adom FM?s Dwaso Nsem programme aired on September 5, 2012 for example, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong of the NPP and Hon. Sampson Ahi, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Juaboso Constituency, engaged in the exchange of indecorous expressions.

Below is the full report:

?REPORT ? MONITORING OF ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN LANGUAGE ON RADIO

?Introduction

The monitoring of electoral campaign language on radio over the period, September 2 ? 8, 2012 recorded a total of 19 indecent expressions. As much as 14 out of the 19 indecent expressions were unsubstantiated allegations levelled against specific individuals and political groupings. With the exception of one (1), all the indecent expressions were made by males. Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, the NPP MP for Assin North Constituency, alone made five (5) of the indecent expressions recorded. He made four (4) of them on his radio station, Oman FM.

Also covered in this report are: the political parties whose affiliates were abusive, the names of those individuals and the radio stations on which the 19 indecent expressions were made.

With funding from STAR-Ghana, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) embarked on the monitoring of electoral campaign language on radio with the aim of contributing to peaceful, free and fair elections in December 2012. The exercise involves the daily monitoring of electoral campaign language on 31 radio stations selected for the project using trained graduate teachers and University graduates.

General Findings on Expressions Used

Reports were received on programmes monitored on 30 of the 31 radio stations being monitored under the project. In all, 151 programmes were analysed. However, 19 indecent expressions were made on 12 of the programmes analysed. Most of these programmes were morning and evening/night political discussion programme and the main subject of discussion around which majority of the indecent expressions was made concerned activities of political parties.

The 19 indecent expressions consisted of three (3) categories of expressions as shown in Fig. 1 below.

Fig.1:? Types of Indecent Expressions

Expressions Used and Political Party Affiliation

Affiliates of three (3) political parties (NPP, NDC and NDP) were found to have made indecent expressions. For the third week running, affiliates of the opposition NPP were in the lead in the use of indecent expressions on radio. Six (6) NPP members/supporters made a total of 10 out of the 19 indecent remarks recorded. On the other hand, members and supporters of the ruling NDC made seven (7) of such expressions while an NDP member made two (2) of them. Table 1 below gives a breakdown of the categories of indecent expressions made by political party affiliation.

Table 1:????????? Expressions Used by Political Party Affiliation

Types of Indecent Expression Used

The following individuals were found to have made more than one indecent expression:

????????? Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, the NPP MP for Assin North Constituency (5)

????????? Mr. Richmond Effah-Osei, a member of the NDC Communication Team in Techiman (2)

????????? Mr. Ernest Owusu Bempah of the NDP (2)

Expressions Used and Gender

Out of the 19 indecent expressions recorded within the period under review, only one of them was made by a female. However, no gender-specific indecent expression was recorded.

Below are the names of the individuals who used the indecent expressions (including those named above), the radio stations and the dates on which the expressions were made:

Unsubstantiated allegations

????????? Aistee, an NPP serial caller ? during Space FM?s Morning Flight programme of September 3, 2012

????????? Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, the NPP MP for Assin North Constituency ? made 3 on his own radio station, Oman FM, during the station?s Boiling Point and National Agenda programmes of September 6, 2012

????????? Mr. Kobby Onassis of the NDC ? during Kessben FM?s Maakye programme of September 3, 2012

????????? An NDC supporter by name Seidu, who called in during the phone-in segment of Diamond FM?s Morning Show programme of September 3, 2012

????????? Mr. Ernest Owusu Bempah of the NDP ? made 2 during Oman FM?s Boiling Point programme of September 6, 2012. The host, Mr. Kwabena Kwakye, interjected on both occasions and asked Mr. Owusu Bempah to provide evidence but he didn?t. The host then disassociated himself and the radio station from the statements made.

????????? Madam Mary King, an NDC supporter who called in during Radio Gold?s Tea Cup Segment of the Breakfast Show on September 7, 2012

????????? Mr. Kwabena Agyapong, a leading member of the NPP, in a telephone interview during Angel FM?s Morning Political Discussion programme of September 5, 2012

????????? Mr. Gideon Boako, Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the NPP ? during Angel FM?s Morning Political Discussion programme on September 5, 2012

????????? Mr. David Osei of the NPP ? during Angel FM?s Platform programme of September 3, 2012

????????? Mr. Eric Bawah of the NPP ? during Classic FM?s Big Breakfast Show programme of September 5, 2012

????????? Mr. Richmond Effah-Osei, a member of the NDC Communication Team in Techiman ? during Classic FM?s Big Breakfast Show programme of September 5, 2012

Insulting/Offensive Comments

????????? Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, the NPP MP for Assin North Constituency ? during Adom FM?s Dwaso Nsem programme of September 5, 2012

????????? Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, the NPP MP for Assin North Constituency ? on his own radio station, Oman FM, during the station?s Boiling Point programme of September 4, 2012

????????? Hon. Sampson Ahi, NDC MP for Juaboso ? during Adom FM?s Dwaso Nsem programme of September 5, 2012

????????? Mr. Richmond Effah-Osei, a member of the NDC Communication Team in Techiman, re-echoed an offensive remark he alleged was initially made by another person during Classic FM?s Big Breakfast Show programme of September 5, 2012

Provocative Remark

????????? Mr. Kwadwo Twum Boafo, a member of the NDC?s Communication Team ? during an interview on Radio Gold?s Newspaper Review Segment of the Breakfast Show of September 7, 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 and radio stations

The 19 indecent expressions were all captured on eight (8) radio stations. Oman FM is the station on which a lot (6) of the indecent expressions were made. Five (5) of the six (6) indecent expressions captured on Oman FM were made during the station?s Boiling Point programme aired in the evening/night. Details of the number of indecorous expressions recorded on the other radio stations and the specific categories of expressions recorded are presented in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Expressions used by radio stations

Conclusion

It has been observed that whereas some moderators try to insist on decency on their networks, others do not. The MFWA is once again urging moderators, producers, and programme managers to educate their panellists and people who feature on their programmes against the use of intemperate language on their respective airwaves. This will be a more proactive approach to handling the issue of indecency on radio. Where an indecent expression is made, moderators should make it a practice to insist that the statement is withdrawn and an apology rendered where possible. It is not enough for a presenter and/or a radio station to disassociate themselves from an indecent remark when the person who made the remark is not ready to retract or withdraw the statement. The MFWA is commending the moderators who insist and even cut off (and in some cases bar) people who make indecent remarks and decide not to retract or apologise. We urge the others to emulate this example.

Issued by the MFWA, Accra on September 13, 2012?

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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