2018 (Volume 5, Number 1)

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    Lipstick on a Pig: Is CSR Communication Authentic or Cosmetic?
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2018-05) Amo-Mensah, Mavis; Tench, Ralph
    With increased scrutiny of business and its activities, many companies have put corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the top of their agenda. However, the push for CSR has also given rise to the assumption that companies make false claims about their practices and policies. This paper explores how the six multinational telecommunications giants in Ghana present their CSR initiatives online. Using discourse analysis methods, the study examines and compares the CSR communication strategies the industry players adopt. The study finds that the companies demonstrate commitment to communicating CSR, emphasising more ethos than logos strategies which suggest credible CSR messages to a large extent. Relational values and the organisation of CSR messages were quite similar across the companies, although some strategies differed. The study not only suggests a linguistic framework for analysing CSR communication messages, it also provides new empirical data that adds to the growing body of literature on CSR communication particularly in the Ghanaian context where studies have been found to be sparse. Again, the findings deepen our understanding of CSR communication issues and its dynamics which will help managers identify potential gaps that may need improvement particularly in developing country contexts. With a few exceptions, a linguistic approach to examining CSR communication content has not received much scholarly attention.
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    Expanding Horizons of Empirical Enquiry into Feminist Media Studies in Africa
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2018-05) Boateng Anson, Jonas Kodwo
    This essay argues for a broader outlook to feminist media studies in Africa. Despite decades of groundbreaking feminist research in gender and media in Africa, there is a paucity of research on the impact of contemporary shifts in media systems and media management in gender relations in journalism. Feminist media scholars need to take cognizance of the extent of impact of excessive media privitizations and the replications on work-time arrangements and schedules in the newsrooms and how these arrangements impact on gender roles and relations in African newsrooms. The call for new and broader empirical enquiry also requires corresponding development and application of appropriate conceptual constructs and theoretical approaches to explicate gender relations in the newsrooms.
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    Examination of Ghana’s ICT in Education Policy within the Context of Globalization
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2018-05) Yidana, Peter
    The Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Education Policy was first drafted in 2003 as part of the general educational reforms in Ghana. The aim of the policy is to improve access, equity and quality education. It is also to ensure that all students acquire basic ICT skills and apply them not only in their studies but also in all aspects of life. Ghana has consistently ranked low in the International ICT development index despite several revisions of the policy. Factors that contribute to this development are not clearly known. The study looks at the current situation as regards the implementation of the policy within the context of globalization. The study seeks to inform debate on how best Ghana can take advantage of globalization and the 21st century information technologies revolution to efficiently implement the policy. It is premised on the ICT Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) that is used widely to explain information system usage. The method adopted in the study is meta-analysis. Relevant research articles, policy papers and education sector performance reports are re-examined in the light of global ICT trends to provide a clearer picture of the status of ICT development within the education sector. Evidence found suggests that not only is the implementation of the policy bedeviled with infrastructural and human resource challenges, but also low level of commitment from relevant stakeholders. The study also found that for Ghana to take advantage of opportunities offered by globalization, issues of information and communication technology must be taken seriously. It is therefore recommended that the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) in collaboration with the Government and other relevant stakeholders should set up National ICT in Education Commission with specific focus to strengthen the capacity of educational institutions to implement the ICT policy. Ghana must also move away from dependence on foreign assistance by setting up National ICT in Education Fund that will carter for the infrastructural needs of all public institutions. It is also recommended that ICT education must be an integral part of teacher education programs and should form part of requirements for the licensing of professional teachers. There is also the need for a new form of orientation for students and teachers as regards the benefits of ICT education so as to whip up their interest and enthusiasm in ICT education.
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    Establishing the Rationale for Media Education for Students in Ghana
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2018-05) Diedong, Africanus L.; Tuurosong, Damasus
    Recent developments in Information, Communication and Technologies (ICT) is propelling shifts in how important institutions such as the family, school and religion impart values to people, especially young persons. Arguably, these institutions seem to be losing their enviable positions as the main purveyors of values and wisdom in society. The paper argues for an overall rationale for media education in Ghana. Questionable contents of some media seem at variance with Ghanaian cultural values and norms within a context in which Media Education is taken for granted demands examination. In terms of methodology of the study, documents and other scientific research papers on Media Education were reviewed. A major finding of the study is that in Ghana there is no formal discourse about the need to integrate media education into curriculum. Therefore Media Education is yet to become a relevant course in the curricula of schools from the basic level of education to the second cycle through to the tertiary level. The paper concludes that Ghana can profit from a policy that establishes Media Education (ME) in her school system.
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    Enacting Personal Identity Through Language: An Exploration of Some Profile Statuses of WhatsApp Messenger
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2018-05) Herzuah, Paul Anzah Ackah
    Technology in the twenty-first century has transformed the world in multiple exciting ways facilitating the rapid flow of information, capital and services across the globe. The constant evolution of new media has spurred the growth of multimedia affordances enabling people to assemble texts that integrate language with visual, aural, gestural and spatial modes. This digital revolution has transformed language by triggering an explosion of new vocabularies, genres and styles by reshaping literacy practices (Darvin, 2016). Digitization provides the technological basis for globalization and media convergence is a bi-product of globalization. In this study, I set out to explore the linguistic elements employed on the WhatsApp statuses of individuals who use the application to communicate messages to their readers and also to establish the connection between these linguistic elements and how they portray the identity of the users. Using Hyland’s (2005) metadiscourse strategies - stance and engagement markers as the analytical framework- the study comes out with conclusions that users of WhatsApp application employ three main metadiscourse elements: self-mention, realized through first-person singular and possessive pronouns (I, my) (stance), reader pronoun (you, your, we, our) (engagement) and directive as linguistic strategies to negotiate their identity on the status . They achieve this by directly focusing the message unto themselves and indicating special relationship with others to reveal to readers their (users’) guiding principles and philosophies in life. Directives like imperatives, modal obligation and predicative adjectives were used to pull readers into the discourse as participants and instructing them to perform an action which ultimately leads them to appreciate and share in the user’s ideas, worldview, experiences and orientation.
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    Blogging as an e-Learning Tool in Tertiary Communication Institutions in Ghana: An Exploratory Study
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2018-05) Addo, Hillar; Gyau, Yaw Odame
    This study investigated blogging as an e-learning tool and the level at which it is becoming a medium for teaching and learning in communication tertiary institutions in Ghana. The study considered four theories; e-learning/online learning models; constructivism, interactivism, and connectivism to provide a context for the use of instructional technology, focusing on communication training institutions in Ghana. Using a quantitative methodology, the study adopted multi-stage sampling procedure to respond to three propositions: 1. Students who have blog sites are more comfortable with lecturers who use blogging as an e-learning tool for teaching and learning. 2. There is a significant positive relationship between students with blog sites and Communication training institutions that consider e-learning as a teaching and learning platform. 3. Having a blog site influences the career development of students from Communication training institutions. Findings were that; tutors and learners casually use e-learning tools, majority of students and lecturers in communication training institutions in Ghana would appreciate utilising e-learning tools for the delivery of various learning modules, but it is sparingly, casually and occasionally used. The study also provided a new model within the context of active patronage of e-learning tools and blogging for teaching and learning in tertiary institutions in Ghana.
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    “Those Speculating About My Health are Mischief Makers”: Contextualizing Newsreaders’ Comments on President Buhari’s Illness
    (Journal of Communications, Media & Society, 2018-05) Ozohu-Suleiman, Yakubu; Adegwu, John Obuo
    President Buhari’s illness has become a subject of political interest in Nigeria that is divergently represented in the local news media and variedly reacted to the public. Premium Times – one of the country’s famous private online newspapers had published a news story about the President’s telephone conversation with his Media Advisor with the headline, “Those speculating about my health are mischief makers”. This story received 250 comments from readers within three days of publication, thus signifying public anxiety over the President’s illness. In this study, we analyzed the 250 comments to establish the tones of public opinion on the President’s illness in relation to the country’s current issues with governance. Each comment, taken as a unit of analysis, was coded into operationalized categories of “Favors the President”; “Disfavors the President” and “Neutral to the President” to determine their relative incidence. The reasons indicated for the tones of the comments were coded into a variety of contextual categories such as “Discontent with economic recession”; “The Acting President (Osinbajo) is doing better”; “Buhari is needed for the success of anti-corruption policy and institutionalization of good governance in Nigeria”; “Empathy towards the President”; “Cultural aversion towards the President”. A Residual category was created and tagged “Others” to accommodate comments that do not fit into any of the afore-mentioned categories. Findings reveal that majority of the comments took the unfavorable tone, with cross-tabulation revealing “discontent with economic recession” the most as reason. The next closely indicated reason for unfavorable comments is “Cultural aversion to the President”. Minority comments that favored the President were largely appended to “Buhari is needed for the success of anti-corruption policy and institutionalization of good governance in Nigeria” as reason for the tone. Placing these results in a broad context, this study concludes that online news media hold a vestige of becoming more successful than the traditional print in stimulating governance debate, enhancing political participation and visibility of public opinion, and bridging the gaps between the government and the public in Nigeria.