July 16, 2006

RESEARCH / NEWSPAPERS: Newspapers fail to capture issues on women and children (GHANA)

Newspapers fail to capture issues on women and children

A study conducted by the Center for Media Analysis (CMA) has revealed that issues bothering on women and children received the least attention in newspaper editorials from January to December 2005.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Media Analysis, Dr. Messan Mawugbe in an interview with the Public Agenda stated that out of the 881 editorials that were sampled, 0.2% focused on the youth, and 0.33% focused on women with 0.44% on children constituting only 1% of the total number.
The research tried to look at the percentage of children, youth and women issues that were captured in newspaper editorials. According to him two state and private owned newspapers, the Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times, Daily Guide and the Chronicle respectively were sampled for the research.
He said even though the newspapers had news on women and children the editorials were chosen as the bases for the research due to the fact that news stories are events that are being reported whilst editorials are policies or observation that have the potential to set political, cultural, social agenda.
?Editors need to be reminded that the more they focus their editorials on issues bothering on women, children and the youth the better it would be the fight for gender balance.?
Addressing pressmen on the theme ?Public Perception Survey: For a Successful Corporate-Ghana? during a presentation of media research findings in Accra, the deputy Government Statistician, Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah called on the media to be watchdogs against bad statistics since numbers and conclusions drawn from them have the potential to influence public opinion. This he said is necessary for the media to develop a constructively critical and questioning attitude toward the manner in which the numbers are obtained.
?You must be careful to filter out the incoming information that is erroneous or deceptive, if valid and meaningful conclusions are to be drawn from numbers, the numbers should be obtained from a carefully planned and executed investigation?, he said.
Speaking on the theme ?Media Perception Survey: The New Global Corporate Challenge? the CEO of the Center for Media Analysis, Dr. Massen Mawugbe recommended that, since Global environment comes with multiple challenges, competitive products and services, the key to global economic success is through a survey, perception measurements and the proper impression management.
Meanwhile, Ghana Market Watch, a new private business newspaper is the latest to appear on the newsstands. Set up by the Regent Publications Limited, the business paper is dedicated to the growth of Ghana?s financial markets with a good editorial team headed by a seasoned journalist, Lee Akorley.
Speaking at the launch of the paper in Accra, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, lauded publishers of the paper. ?I am happy that this paper has come at a time that the country is recording significant economic growth resulting from sound economic policies being implemented by this NPP government?.
He highlighted the numerous opportunities in financial services industry and further called on the general public to embrace the paper and nurture it to perform its obligation to inform, educate and to entertain in order to contribute positively to the development of the financial services industry.
In his welcome address, the CEO/Publisher, Mr. Amos Dotse said Market Watch was born to bring a new dimension to financial news reporting in Ghana.
Like the Minister, he appealed for support from people in the academia to give them the needed support by contributing articles and providing them with the lifeblood of any media organization as well as adverts.

Author: Irene Elorm Hatsu and Morpkorkpor Vuasi
Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
Youth Media Consulting GbR
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
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Email: cschuepp@unicef.org
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