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16 July 2016

Charlotte Osei’s criticism of media fair – Mawugbe

charlotte oseiTo a larger extent, the criticisms of the chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana is fair given that the Ghanaian media has acted as an appendage of political parties and their ideologies, Messan Mawugbe, Executive Director of the Centre for Media Analysis, has said.

The EC chair, Charlotte Osei, on Thursday July 14 criticised the media over unfair reportage about the electoral body.

“There has been no publication in the media seriously examining the more than 20 reforms which the Electoral Commission is implementing in this year’s election cycle and their consequences on the elections. We have not seen a single report on how the results can actually be compromised or manipulated from an operational perspective, which will now require that the media will call on the EC to resolve those operational gaps that they have identified,” Mrs Osei explained.

She added: “…Yet every day, we are inundated with spurious reports in the media of how the EC and the chair of the EC as a person are rigging the election and these comments are reported with extreme speed and glee and it’s just amazing to us.”

But speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu, host of Class FM’s 505 news Thursday July 14, Mr Mawugbe said: “I think Madam Osei’s criticism of the media is fair to a larger extent and the reason is this: when it is getting to election year or within the parameters of elections the media’s role is supposed to move away from being accountable [to] responsive…

“How can the media be responsive to society’s needs?…The media has acted as a unilateral extension of political ideologies, so as a result of this, most of the contents that are being spewed out from political parties or in line with the EC’s activities, you will realise that the media hasn’t been in the position where it tries to project the Electoral Commission in a very positive light.”

He added: “We have been doing monitoring in terms of adjectives being used for the EC Chair. Most of the adjectives being carried out in their contents relating to the EC are highly intemperate and to this extent, one can say that the EC chair to some extent is fair in her criticism. I think the media needs to look at itself, the media needs to turn the mirror back at how it disseminates information, how it selects and packages, especially in relationship not just in elections.”

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