The Role of the Mass Media in Ghana’s Democracy

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There is a linkage between the mass media and democracy. The press in the Gold Coast played a significant role in the struggle for the country’s independence from colonialism. Ghana was birth after independence and it has experienced a history of democracy and a mixture of coup d’états. This reduced the beauty of the once vibrant democratic state to a state where the rights of many Ghanaians were imprisoned, beaten, killed by soldiers. Journalist like Kweku Barku, Kwesi Pratt and others were beaten extensively and some were killed as a result of providing the citizens with information on how the military were corrupt. These inhuman treatments brought a state of fear and relegated the media to a background of silence and created no freedom…show more content…
This has concluded in the ability of the citizenry to make very informed political choices. Furthermore, it has resulted in the people getting actively involved in the democratic process. Public-affairs programs on radio and television provide the depth, context and critical analysis that news programs and commercials. Still, the media in new democracies have contributed to public education on current happening. The media’s track record so far in Ghana’s democracy, however, is uneven. Because of the need to cater to the market or to kowtow to the state, the media often shirk their civic responsibility and contribute to civic illiteracy instead of public enlightenment. The media would want to get the message of democracy across to all people from all walks of life and therefore finds it necessary to communicate not only in the English language, but also in the vernacular. The FM radio are used with its localized signal is an instrument for promoting grassroots democracy which is the rule of law and for any civil society to implement the rule of law the media. “The choices we would have made could only be described as uninformed choices”. According to Graber, “In many instances the media [impacts] the political scene by creating a climate for political action, this makes them major contributors to nation building, the process whereby news stories influence how people
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