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16 July 2016

Ghanaian media spews negativity about EC – Expert

ECGhanaian journalists have been accused of engaging in a campaign of negativity regarding the work of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Messan Mawugbe, Executive Director of the Centre for Media Analysis has said.

According to him, most of the commentary about the EC contain adjectives that are highly intemperate, therefore, the criticisms levelled against the media by the chair of the EC, Charlotte Osei, was fair.

Mrs Osei on Thursday July 14 said: “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.”

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.”

Speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu, host of Class FM’s 505 news Thursday July 14, Mr Mawugbe said: “We (Centre for Media Analysis) 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’s 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 relationships, not just in elections.”

He added: “I think Madam Osei’s criticisms 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 are 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.”

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