2017 (Volume 4, Number 1)

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    The Influence of Gender and Intellectual Ability on Students Time Utilisation and Academic Achievement
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2017-05) Yidana, Peter
    The study investigated the time students in public senior high schools in the Northern Region of Ghana spend on academic related activities and their academic achievements by gender and intellectual ability. Five hundred (500) students from seven public senior high schools in the Northern Region of Ghana participated in the study. A combination of probability and non-probability sampling techniques were employed using a cross-sectional survey to get a sample of respondents from whom data was collected through questionnaire. The data was analyzed using One-way ANOVA and multiple regressions with factors that might influence the outcome of the study controlled. The results revealed that low and high intellectual ability students differ significantly with respect to the time they spend on self-study and class attendance. The study finds conclusive evidence that intellectual ability and gender have a significant impact on time utilization rates among students of senior high schools. The results also show significant intra and inter gender differences between males and females with respect to the time they spend on self-study and group study activities. The study recommends that educational authorities should take the time use disparities into consideration when designing curriculum activities so as to take care of these different student groupings.
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    The 'Brown Envelop' and Media Practice in Ghana: a Socio-Cultural Perspective
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2017-05) Amankwah, Adwoa S.; Ako-Gyima, Emmanuel
    The brown envelop phenomenon (soli) continues to plague media practice in Africa in general and Ghana in particular despite high standards guiding journalism practice. Income levels and education are noted to have contributed to this trend. This study sought to unravel the factors accounting for the phenomenon and to determine their influence on media practice in Ghana. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were administered to forty-eight media people. Irrespective of educational background and professional membership, over 80 percent of journalists still took 'soli' and did not necessarily associate it with bribery. The study also found that income influences the acceptance of soli but that paradoxically respondents, except editors, indicate soli does not influence journalistic output. The study discovered that soli has become inextricably intertwined with the culture of media practice in Ghana. While the findings are limited to the views of these journalists, the study has implications for the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC). It recommends that they take a look at the practical internalization of their code of ethics and guidelines so it becomes an acceptable norm of practice for the media.
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    Media Representation and the Ghanaian Youth
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2017-05) Dzisah, Wilberforce Sefakor
    Media portrayal of the youth in most societies, particularly Ghana, over the years has been one of controversy. The perception of the youth as being dangerous, reckless and posing a threat to the future of the nation has been the main driver for this study. Using a well-thought-out objective and research questions, this paper has strived to tease out some useful understandings concerning notions of crime, violence, education and politics relative to the youth in Ghana as represented in the Ghanaian media/press. In these contested constructions, a well-thought-out research methodology involving both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to address the issues framing the study. While the quantitative aspect used content analysis to help unpack statistical variables, the qualitative dimension involving textual analysis delved into aspects of literary deployments that provide ample testimony of the representations of the youth. The analysis indicated that images of youth involved in criminal activities were dominant in the media/press. Most of the images presented about young people are not just quantitatively dominated by a one-sided negative image of youth, but also to some degree, qualitatively exaggerated and misleading.
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    Integrity and Intrigue: Ghanaian Press Performance in the 2016 Campaign
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2017-05) Hasty, Jennifer
    How did the Ghanaian news media serve the interests of democracy during the 2016 campaign?. This paper examines the performance of two Ghanaian daily newspapers in the context of the campaign, identifying the specific and strategic forms of public discourse that constitute the 'house style' of each newspaper. I look at the structure and content of news stories, with attention to language, mood, sources, and perspectives represented. Emphasizing themes of peace and unity, Daily Graphic continued to foreground the public pronouncements of officials at formal events. Daily Guide challenged government rhetoric with contentious stories designed to undermine ruling-party legitimacy. Both newspapers tended to represent their own distinct set of perspectives and interests, giving less attention to alternatives. Both papers make important contributions to Ghana's lively public sphere. As they strive for greater balance and complexity in their news coverage, journalists may consider increased consultation with independent civil society groups carrying out analyses of socially relevant topics.
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    Ghana's Broadcasting Confusion: Redressing Structural Deficits in Public Service Broadcasting
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2017-05) Tayman, Albert-James S.
    It can be suggested that the grand idea underpinning the media's claim to being the 'forth estate' of government in a democracy is resolved in the Habermasian (Habermas 1989) ethos: the media can add another layer to the checks and balances between the executive, legislative and judicial functions of government by providing a space wherein the governed can participate in the discussions that affect their lives in a direct way. Habermas called this space the public sphere, describing it “as a space or place in which social debate happens freely to form public opinion as the best way to achieve social goals” (Tayman 2012, pg. 110). Further, it is suggested that this type of “public communication” has potential to serve as a model for social integration (McCauley et al., 2003: xviii). Thus, the idea is that the public's participation in government can not only rely on the indirect processes of representative government. Whether the use of the media as a participatory mechanism proves to be reactive or proactive depends on the level of sophistication that the media system, within any democracy, can operationalize in bringing the citizen's voice to the fore in a participatory manner. The key is in how well the media, especially that which is designated as publicly-owned, understands this role. This paper focuses on the key constructs of ownership, control and access within the value chain of public service broadcasting, as set out in Tayman (2012), with regards to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, and links its arguments to the Public Broadcasting Service standards as argued by Banerjee and Seneviratne (2005). It seeks to challenge the current situation in offering an alternative governance system for enabling a more beneficial service in aid of Ghana's social development and suggests a better model of thinking about public service broadcasting. This paper analyzes some structural problems and proposes remedies to them within Ghana's circumstances. These circumstances are not uncommon in Africa, and therefore the arguments may well apply to similar countries on the continent.
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    Election Campaigns Framing in an Emerging Democracy: Horse race versus Issue Framing in Ghana
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2017-05) Afful, Ebo
    Political communication literature has repeatedly documented various forms of framing election campaigns across democracies, although that on Africa, including Ghana, are few. Matters of interest to such studies concern issues, horse race, coverage tone and presidential candidates' media visibility. This paper presents some findings from a qualitative content analytical study that explored political campaign coverage of elections in the Ghanaian media and implications thereof within the context of political communication. Grounded in framing and gatekeeping theories, the study specifically focused on the relationship between two broad categories – issues and horse race framing – in the 2008 and 2012 election campaign coverage in Ghana. And with data from two state-owned and two privately-owned Ghanaian newspapers, the study analyses which categories dominated the press presentation of the various election campaigns. The study demonstrates that coverage of the two elections was issue-based with peace as the most covered issue. However, the data also appears to indicate that horse race has the potential to dominate Ghana's coverage of future elections.
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    Building Institutional Brand Personality: The Effect of the Creative Problem Solving Ability Attributes of School Managers
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2017-05) Semarco, Stanley K. M.; Cho, Seokhee
    The study examined the linkages between creative problem-solving ability attributes and the specific components of the institutional (corporate) brand personality dimensions; as well as the predictive influence of creative problem solving ability attributes on the aggregated institutional brand personality of Ghanaian basic schools. Two hundred and seventy-nine headteachers and 558 teachers provided data using the creative problem-solving ability attributes and brand personality dimensions inventories. The structural equation modelling result showed that the hypothesised model of the linkage between creative problem-solving ability attributes and institutional brand personality fit the data. Results also indicated that divergent thinking had a significant indirect effect on brand personality, with motivation and knowledge showing significant direct effects. The implication of the findings when it comes to school leaders creatively providing solutions and determining the schools brand personality was discussed.