Integrity and Intrigue: Ghanaian Press Performance in the 2016 Campaign

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Journal of Communications, Media & Society
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.
Research Article