GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM

IMPACT OF AKAN RADIO NEWS PRESENTATION ON THE AUDIENCE OF ADOM FM

GEORGE MAWUENASUSU KORKU NYAVOR

BACS 10236331

THIS PROJECT WORK IS SUBMITTED TO THE GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM (GIJ) IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES.

JULY, 2010

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DECLARATION

Candidate’s Declaration I hereby declare that this Project Work is the result of my own original research and that no part of it has been presented for another degree in this Institution or elsewhere.

George M.K Nyavor ………………………

Date ………………………..

Supervisor’s Declaration I hereby declare that the preparation and presentation of this Project Work was supervised by me in accordance with the guidelines on supervision of Project Work as laid down by the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

Kobina Bedu-Addo …………………………….

Date ………………………..

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Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………………………… …………………………………9 Background……………………………………………………………………………….9 Problem Statement…… ………………………………………………………………..22 Research Objectives…….………… …….………………………………………………23 Justification for the Study……………………………………..…………………………24 Scope of Study…………………………………………………………………...………24 Organisation of the study……………….………………………………………………..25 Literature Review………………………………...………………………………………………26 Theoretical Framework...……………………………………………..………………….26 Review of Related Studies………….……………………………………………………34 Operational Definition of Terms…….………………………….………………………..40 Methodology……………………………………………………………..………………………42 Research Design………………………………………… ……..…………….…………42 Population…………………………………………..……………………………………43 Sample Size……………………………..…………………………………………….….44 Sample Technique……………………………………………………...…………….…..45 Data Collection…………………………………………………………………………..45 Data Collection Instruments…………………………………..…………………………46 Results…………………………….……………………………………………………………..48 Discussion……………………………………………………………………………………......80 Summary……………..……… ………………………………………………………………….83 Conclusion………………………………………….………..…………………………………..84 Suggestions for Further Study.....………………………………………………………………..84 Bibliography……..…………………………..…………………………………………..………85 Appendices……………………………………..………………………………………………...88

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DEDICATION This study is dedicated to the academia, the domain that produces the minds and hearts to take part in that severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy and timid ignorance obstructing any progress. I dedicate this work to anyone who is in ardent pursuit of knowledge, and motivated by nothing else but by the desire to overcome life‘s challenges, big or small, by resort to knowledge for it is this same motivation that produced this work. I dedicate this study to my mother, Francisca Dogbatse, and my two brothers Joseph Nyavor and Emmanuel Nyavor. I dedicate this study especially to Mr. Hayford Amanku, but also to anyone who has added to my knowledge in one way or another. But above all I dedicate this study to God Almighty, for all these I did, all these I endured for His greater Glory.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am sincerely grateful to Mr. Kobina Bedu-Addo, my supervisor for his guidance. This work wouldn‘t have come out this way if not for his invaluable assistance. I am also grateful for the immense support given me by the news team of Adom FM, the Akan Section of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), and the Ayawaso Central office of the Electoral Commission. I would also like to show my gratitude to the staff of the Ghana Institute of Journalism library, especially Ernest. This is because even when we were being typically students, they tolerated us enough.

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ABSTRACT It is indubitable that the rise of Akan-language oriented radio stations, partly as a result of the liberalization of the airwaves, and partly as a response to the need to keep the vast illiterate Ghanaian population informed on key local and global social, economic and political issues, is a step in the right direction. This work studied the effectiveness of the use of proverbs, humour, innuendos and similar devices in Akan radio news presentation, using Adom Kaseibo on Adom FM as the focus. It studied two populations, audience of Adom FM on 1st Yarboi Link, in Kotobabi, Accra, and news staff of Adom. Interviews were conducted for the audience of Adom FM and questionnaires were distributed to a sample from the Adom FM news staff. The study also investigated whether newsroom practices of news gathering, processing and presentation conformed to the NMC Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting. The general findings were that the use of proverbs, humour, innuendos and similar devices used in Akan radio news presentation was effective among illiterates and semi-literates, but was normally not appealing and ineffective among literates. The study also found that newsroom practices of news gathering, processing and presentation was not conforming to the Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting of the National Media Commission.

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List of Tables Table 4.1.1: Representation of respondents according to their education level--page 49 Table 4.1.2: Age range of respondents—page 50 Table 4.1.3: Occupation of Respondents—page 51 Table 4.1.4: Occupation distribution versus education level—page 52 Table 4.1.5: Respondent‘s perception of Akan radio news presentation—page 54 Table 4.1.6: Education level of respondents and their perception of Akan news presentation— page 55 Table 4.1.7: Respondents response to whether they understand the content of Akan news presentation—page 57 Table 4.1.8: Respondents‘ description of Akan radio news presentation—page 59 Table 4.1.9: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―Exaggerated‖—page 60 Table 4.1.10: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―made less important‖—page 61 Table 4.1.11: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―Humourous‖—page 62 Table 4.1.12: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―Humourous but factual‖—page 63 Table 4.1.13: Literate respondents‘ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo—page 64

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Table 4.1.14: Semi-literate respondents‘ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo—page 65 Table 4.1.15: Illiterate respondents‘ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo—page 66 Table 4.1.16:Respondents‘ understanding of the content Akan news presentation—page 68 Table 4.1.17: Educational level of respondents and how they understand the content of news— page 69 Table 4.1.18: Respondents‘ understanding of the humour, proverbs, innuendos used in Akan news presentation—page 70 Table 4.1.20: Appeal/Non-appeal of the use of proverbs, humour and similar devices in Akan news among respondents—page 72 Table 4.1.21: Respondents‘ views on what should change or remain about Akan radio news presentation—page 75 Table 4.1.22: Respondent‘s views versus their education level—page 76

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CHAPTER ONE 1.0 Introduction To enhance media pluralism and diversity, there must be a platform for Ghanaian audiences to participate in national dialogue, but also to enable them make sense of events around them through indigenized programmes like Akan news so they can make informed decisions and choices. This is more the case considering that Ghana has a high illiteracy rate – meaning an even higher rate of the use of local language in social transactions. Of the six main Ghanaian languages: Akan, Ewe, Ga, Nzema, Dagbani and Hausa, first used on radio, Akan language seems to be the most predominantly used in local radio across the country today. 1.1 Background Statement It is indubitable that the rise of Akan-language oriented radio stations, partly as a result of the liberalization of the airwaves, and partly as a response to the need to keep the vast illiterate Ghanaian population informed on key local and global social, economic and political issues is a step in the right direction. However, the presentation of Akan news on some local-language oriented FM stations is too typical of the interactive characteristics of Akan societies. These characteristics, essentially, exaggerate some issues whiles downplaying the seriousness of other issues. Also, some of the words are too difficult for comprehension. This is exacerbated by absence of binding norms or guidelines for local language broadcasting which may create ―deficiencies and excesses…that undermine the ethos of broadcasting as a public good‖ (NMC National Media Policy 2000, p.8).

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i.

History of Radio and Local Language Broadcasting in Ghana.

According to P.A.V Ansah (1985), radio has evolved tremendously since its inception in Europe in the 1920s. Sir Arnold Hodson is credited with the initiative to introduce radio to the West Coast of Africa after an experiment with the new wired radio distribution system in the Falkland Islands in 1929. In 1934, Hodson was transferred to the then Gold Coast as governor. His love for radio led him to request for F.A.W Byron, an electrical engineer, with whom he‘d worked in the establishment of radio service in the Falkland Islands and in Sierra Leone. Upon the arrival of Byron, Hodson began work immediately to establish a wired radio distribution system in Accra. The silver jubilee of the coronation of King George V provided an avenue for experimenting with rediffusion broadcast when the voice of the King was heard on the Empire Service (Gold Coast Legislative Council Debates, February 20, 1936; cited in Ansah P.A.V, 1985). This marked the birth of the station ZOY. This wired relayed service rapidly expanded tremendously that by the end of 1935 there were 400 subscribers and in February 1936, 750 homes in Accra were wired to receive broadcasts from the transmitters of the service. Great Britain in 1932 established a relay or rediffusion system, in its tropical Africa colonies, called Empire Service. The aim of the Empire Service in these areas in tropical Africa was to cater for the ―information, cultural and entertainment needs of the political elites who consisted of European settlers, colonial administrators and the small group of educated Africans‖ (Ansah, 1985; p.2).

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The principal audience of radio in most British colonists was the European settlers. However in Gold Coast it was slightly different. In Gold Coast, the purpose of using broadcasting for general and political education was clearly articulated early on. From the beginning, Governor Hodson intended that radio should be a tool for in and out-of-school education. He planned that a transmitter should be installed in Accra to broadcast half an hour each day to schools, under the Department of Education. But the purpose of radio in the early days of its establishment in Ghana was not only educative. It was also for what can be termed ―white propaganda‖. Radio was also to be a means of ‗conveying information or urgent propaganda to an intelligent and level-headed section of the community which is capable of exercising a strong influence for good on public opinion‘ when it becomes an established feature. But it was also to inculcate in the citizens of the Gold Coast certain aspects of British culture and ideas, and thereby ―immunize‖ them against undesirable ideas which might come from outside. This included countering anti-colonial propaganda of the nationalist press in the Gold Coast (Asante, 1996; Ansah, 1985). During the Second World War, the need for propaganda became intensified as the need to whip up public support for ―Allies‖ fighting against Nazi Germany became necessary. Again, according to Asante (1996), the war situation helped in the expansion of radio. At that time, it became necessary to reach a wider African audience in order to secure their loyalty and support on the side of the ―allies‖ in the prosecution of the War, especially since the colonies were providing soldiers and supplying food to help in the war effort. It was during this period that increasing use was made of the local languages in broadcasting. Furthermore, by that time

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re-diffusion or wired-radio centres were also opened in Kumasi, Sekondi, Koforidua and Cape Coast thereby extending the radio broadcast facilities in the country. In June 1961, the External Service broadcasting was inaugurated. The GBC External Service was broadcasting in English, French, Hausa, Swahili, Arabic and Portuguese. The service was instrumental in articulating the foreign policy of the Nkrumah-led government. Essentially, programmes in local languages were introduced on radio within two years of its inception. But these languages were not accorded sufficient importance in terms of time allocation. In 1953, local languages were given a total of 18 hours a week while English programmes including relays from the BBC, took about 58 hours a week. But this was not the only challenge to local language broadcasting. Local language programmes were broadcast at such inconvenient times that it defeated the purpose of its broadcast (Ansah, 1985). Between 1935 and 1945, Radio-ZOY was administered by the colonial secretary‘s office, and from 1946 to 1953, it was managed by the Information Services Department. In 1954, upon the recommendation of a commission established to advise the colonial government on how to improve radio broadcasting in the country, the Gold Coast Broadcasting System (GCBS) was set-up. Then in September 1962, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation System became a fullfledged corporation and was renamed the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) (Asante, 1996). The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), in the early part of 1994 was providing two domestic radio services: Radio 1 (or GBC-1) and Radio 2 (GBC-2). At a point in time, for a brief period, there was a Radio 3 (GBC-3) which was heard on wireless only. But it has been discontinued because of shortage of material resources (Asante, 1996).

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GBC-1 was broadcasting programmes in six Ghanaian languages: Akan, Dagbani, Ewe, Ga, Nzema and Hausa. Each language has its programme spot on the daily schedules on the network and they produce pragrammes to fill these spots. News for the local languages are compiled in English by the newsroom and distributed to the local language sections for translation and broadcast. Akan section of GBC says its house-style includes use of ―simple language‖, ―very minimal use of figurative expression‖ and ―comprehensive but simple translation of English to Akan that is not line-by-line‖ (Interview with Kofi Sarkwa, News Editor at the Akan Section of GBC; February 3rd, 2010). At the time this information was being collected, GBC-1 was on ―standby‖ because GBC was negotiating with government to purchase a new digital transmitter to replace the current faulty one. Furthermore, FM stations like Obonu FM and Unique FM which are operating under the GBC umbrella are making do with the personnel and resources of GBC-1 in the meantime. GBC2 is also not operating anymore. According to the National Communication Authority (NCA), two hundred and seventeen (217) radio stations have been licensed and operational, and thirty-two (32) are operational in GreaterAccra as at 3rd March, 2010. Of this number, more than five are broadcasting all programmes in Akan language only (http://www.nca.org.gh). ii. Rise of Private Local Language Radio

Liberalization of the airwaves by the 1992 constitution (Article 162(3)) after years of repressive laws on media freedom by subsequent military regimes facilitated the widespread establishment of private media houses in Ghana.

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Ghana was ruled by the military under Generals Joseph Ankrah and Akwasi Afrifa from 1966 to 1969; General Kutu Acheampong from 1972 to 1978; General Fred Akuffo from 1978 to 1979 and Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings, June 1979 to September 1979. The country was once more ruled under Jerry Rawlings‘ military regime from 1981 to 1993. Thus, between the premier military coup in February 1966 and the transition to civil rule in 1993, Ghana was ruled by military regimes for about twenty-one years (Ogbondah, 2004). With these military regimes came covert and overt measures to suppress freedom of expression in any type of media. Some of these measures included the passing of the Criminal Libel Law, the Law on Sedition, and the Rumours Decree. Even before these myriad of military takeovers, the press under Dr. Nkrumah after independence was seen as an instrument of state control for facilitating the nation building efforts. Hence Nkrumah arrested and imprisoned journalists who were too critical of, and opposed to, some of his policies. This was highly similar to the relationship between the colonial government and privately owned media outlets that were vociferous towards some to the colonial administration‘s policies and actions. In July 2001, Ghana‘s Parliament repealed the Criminal Libel and Seditious Laws, which had been used to imprison and otherwise persecute many journalists in the past (Morgan, 2006). The coming into office by the Kuffuor-led government in 2000 drastically eased the tension and repression on press freedom in Ghana. Hence with the repeal of the criminal libel law, the stage was set for a total emancipation from media oppression by statutory interventions. The need to reach the vast illiterate Ghanaian populations was realised very early in the inception of radio (in 1937). However, private ownership of radio was very far away from the minds of

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entrepreneurs due to the novelty of the technology and the huge financial commitments involved at the time (Asante, 1996). However, with improvements in the technology of radio, and improvements in related areas like sound recording, it became relatively easy to set up a radio station. The discouraging factor, now that technological improvements made it possible to easily set up a radio station, was the political terrain. The country had been ruled for too long by military dictatorships which were mostly unfriendly to private media ownership. For instance, Jerry Rawlings‘ heavy hand on media freedom made it dangerous and even suicidal to set up any media house, especially radio. But a politically enlightened public was fast becoming the phenomenon in Ghana in the days leading to the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. Along with a host of condemnations of human rights abuses by reformists, the laws against media freedom was perhaps the most condemned. There was an overwhelming support for media privatisation with only a few people, mostly in the monopolistic state-controlled media houses, opposed to the idea for fear of losing its grip on the monopoly (http//www.ghanaweb.com/articles/genesisofbroadcastinginghana). Despite the support for the privatisation of broadcasting, the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) government was unwilling to loosen its grip on private radio but in May 1994, residents of Accra ‗woke up to the sound of a private FM station called Radio Eye

(http//www.ghanaweb.com/articles/genesisofbroadcastinginghana). After 24 hours of operating, the security agencies shut down the station and arrested Dr. Charles Wereko Brobbey and his team of technicians.

The confiscation sparked intense riots in Accra, ending the first attempt at breaking state

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monopoly over broadcasting. It was not until July 1995 that Joy FM, a member of the Multi Media Group, and the first to start operation, was licensed to operate in Accra. Many other private radio stations followed suit in earnest. By the end of 1996, exactly a year after Joy FM‘s operation, more than sixteen radio stations were operational across the country – confirming there have been a long suppression of a desire to operate privately in the radio broadcasting sector by the state. Apart from the few programme spots for news in the six Ghanaian languages on the various GBC radio stations, more hours were dedicated to English content programmes. The emerging private radio stations, at the time, were also broadcasting entirely in English. Subsequently, the need for a local-language-oriented radio station to cater for the vast illiterate majority, but more importantly to facilitate what Ali Mazrui calls ―cultural engineering‖, was realised. Cultural engineering involves ‗indigenising what is foreign, idealizing what is indigenous and nationalising what is sectional and emphasising what is African‘ (Mazrui, 1972; cited in Ansah P.A.V, 1985;p. 29). Peace FM, 104.3, began the first private Akan-language radio station in 1999, becoming the first private radio to broadcast all programmes entirely in a local language, specifically Akan in Greater-Accra. This was followed by other media houses of which Adom FM, beginning its operation in 2000, is one. Some of the prominent programmes on Peace FM when it started operations were the morning programme called Kokrookoo, the prime time news at twelve noon and 6.00 pm, Wo Haw Ne Sen, and the Drive Time. But essentially, these programmes mirrored the prominent programmes which were airing on Joy FM which is the first private English radio in Ghana.

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Understandably, these kinds of programmes became industry benchmarks that elicited fierce competition when other local language, or Akan language, radio stations started. For news programmes for instance, exclusivity, early broadcast of breaking news and ―interesting‖ presentation of such newsy events was the competition among local radio stations – and to a large extent these are still the requirements to attract audience to a news programme now. Promoters of the liberalisation of the airwaves were of the view that the liberalisation process would have social, economic and political benefits for Ghana because it will impact positively on the people. However for some time now, there have been debates surrounding the way some private media houses operate (TV3 Evening News; August 10, 2009). Prominent among these debates is the style of news presentation on some Akan-language radio stations. Despite directives by the National Media Commission and condemnations from relevant stakeholders to avoid use of proverbs, humour, innuendos, pre-sequences and the like in news broadcasts, most local radio stations say this style of news presentation appeals to their target audiences. The National Media Commission (NMC) has issued guidelines to standardise the ―preparation, presentation and transmission‖ of programmes on all broadcasting media (NMC Guidelines for Broadcasting; p.1). However, this standardisation seems a long way off. In addition to this the commission has issued ―Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting‖ which it believes would ―guide broadcasters to harness the benefit of linguistic pluralism and diversity…the guidelines is premised on the knowledge that local language broadcasting fulfils the citizen‘s sovereign entitlement to freedom of expression and the right to information‖ (NMC Guidelines For Local Language Broadcasting, 2009; p.1). In the absence of a standardised preparation, presentation and transmission of news programmes on Akan-language oriented media houses, the impact it is having on audience must be studied.

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iii.

The Nature of News

News programming is one of the very technical aspects of journalism, or media work. According to Itule & Anderson (2007), it is important for news to have certain unique characteristics that will first, differentiate it from other types of media programme and secondly, to enable any media house achieve utmost results in their news broadcast – which is audience knowledge of the world around him/her and appreciation of relevant issues and concerns in an interdependent an networked globalizing world. According to Boyd (1993) radio news broadcasting must be straight-forward, concise, made up of familiar words and unambiguous in the content being carried across. These characteristics according to him are necessary because of the transient and fleeting nature of radio. Radio audiences are especially susceptible to the barriers that obstruct proper appreciation and understanding of the content(s) of any news report. These barriers may include use of proverbs, rhetorics, humour and circumlocutions. According to Shrivastava, (2003:p.1), ―news is one of the biggest known media outputs in today‘s media programming‖. He states further that the concept of news has existed long before the phenomenon of mass media. This is supported by Schramm (1963). Furthermore, to illustrate the universality of news, it is possible in Africa today to find accounts of a primitive system in remote tribal areas where people exchange local news during weekly markets just by talking to one another (Shrivastava, 2003). Also to illustrate the power of news, before the era of newspapers and electronic media, news was communicated by mouth. Public announcements by those in power were communicated to their subordinates by various kinds of drummers. Such announcements – even now – dominate

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the news coverage in the newspapers, radio and television in almost all countries irrespective of their ideology (Shrivastava, 2003:p.2)). The importance and power of these rudimentary mediums of news to society such as drums, trumpets and gongs, as well as the modern media of news, of which radio is an example, cannot be missed. It is even more important for people who are in power and those who want power. Radio and TV become first targets in coups, and those who snatch power from an old regime use these electronic mediums for their first announcements. Radio news, at once, can be used to serve both societal interests as well as the interests of an individual or a select few of individuals. Hence it is a requirement in professional journalism to present or broadcast news as it is – as the event happened. Mckane (2006:p.vii) purports that the final stage of journalistic process, the only one the audience encounters directly, is the words. She states: ―they may be printed, spoken or placed on a computer screen, but first they have to be prepared…if they are boring, they will bore, if they are incomprehensible, they will not be understood, if they are clumsy or inappropriate, they will annoy‖. All of these challenges must be considered also in Akan Radio News preparation. iv. The Context of Akan Socio-cultural Interaction

According to Obeng (2003), in most African societies ―much as plain or direct language is cherished and highly appreciated because of the pragmatic clarity it offers, implicitness, indirectness, vagueness, prolixity, ambiguity and even avoidance are even more cherished and preferred especially when the subject matter of what is being communicated is difficult or facethreatening‖.

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He proceeds to say that ―Verbal indirection”, the communicational strategy in which interactants abstain from directness in order to avoid crises or in order to communicate ―difficulty‖, and thus make their utterances consistent with face and politeness, is pervasive in Akan social interaction. Furthermore, he purports that pronoun mismatching, nouns (especially proverbial names and other names with indirect meanings), evasions, hedges and various forms of pre-sequences (which help to eliminate perceived obstacles to making such speech acts as announcements, requests, or invitations), acknowledgement of imposition, proverbs, metaphors, innuendoes, euphemisms, circumlocution, riddles, tales, hyperbolas, and communication through

intermediaries or proxies, are among the linguistic discursive strategies in Akan language. v. The Importance of Local Radio

The increase in the number of private FM stations, as a consequence of the liberalization of the airwaves, has made it possible for some media outlets to tailor programs to suit the vast illiterate population of most urban dwellers in Ghana. Statistics in 2000 indicates 43.8% urban dwellers in the year 2000, as against 9% in 1931 (Otoo et al, 2006). At the current growth rate of 2.6% per annum, the urban population is expected to double in 17 years (GSS, 2000). Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) alone, for instance, according to 2000 census represents 25% of all urban dwellers in Ghana, increasing at 4.5% per annum. Because Ghana has a low literacy rate, approximately 58% according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, (2007), and with the urban population growth rate in Accra at 4.5% annually, urban dwellers in Accra, among whom will be a vast illiterate majority, will be incapacitated in various regards by virtue of their inability to comprehend news reports when they are presented in English on all media outlets.

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Furthermore, majority of Ghanaians, speak and transact their daily lives in their own languages. That is, it is in the local language that they are able to express themselves easily, articulate their interests, make communion with their ancestors among other things (Prah, 2001; cited in NMC Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting, 2008). That is, in an ever intensifying global world, the illiterate‘s understanding of key political, economic and social issues that affect them directly and indirectly is appreciably limited if news is presented in English-only across board. This may translate into economic hardships leading to poverty, ignorance of key health concerns, ignorance of social and political rights and freedoms, and to a significant extent, ignorance of social and political responsibilities as a citizen. It may also befuddle efforts to disabuse Ghanaian society of cultural misconception on gender and children roles as well as the subsequent violations of women‘s and children‘s right. It is against these backgrounds that the increase in FM stations which broadcast news and other programs, which nonetheless mirror western style of programming, in Akan language is a step in the right direction. Adom FM (106.3), Peace FM (104.3), Asempa FM (94.7), Oman FM (107.1), Happy FM (98.9) among others, are some stations broadcasting news and other programs in Akan language. However, it is important to ensure that news, as presented in Akan language by these media outlets, retain the qualities and purpose of news in the professional conception of the word. Choice of Adom FM audience as a case study is due to the researcher‘s avoidance of any conflict of interest between him and a colleague who is doing a similar study with Peace FM. Peace FM would have been an appropriate choice because they started what this study is calling ―Akan

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Radio News Presentation‖, and secondly they seem to have the biggest audience base so far as Akan-language oriented radio is concerned. Besides the above reason, it is this researcher‘s strong belief that Adom FM (106.3) has an audience that matches Peace FM‘s audience base. And since a couple of research work in the area of Akan-language oriented radio has concentrated on Peace FM, Adom FM makes a better alternative. This study looks at the impact on audience in the use of such devices as proverbs, hedges, presequences among others, in news presentation on an Akan-language radio. vi. Adom FM and the Multimedia Group

Adom FM (106.3) is a commercial radio station situated in the Tema Municipality (Community Two). It began operation in May, 2000. It is operating on a frequency that was then called Groove FM. But Joy FM, a member of the Multi Media Group bought it and subsequently, the offices in Accra (Osu) was re-located to Tema (Community 2). They broadcast all relevant radio programmes in Akan language. Currently, Adom FM claims to be the number one most listened to station in Ghana (www.adomonline.com). 1.2 Problem Statement

The popularity of Akan-language-oriented media houses is a welcome phenomenon in Ghana. But it may not be serving its purpose as far as news presentation is concerned (TV3 Evening News, 2009). Choice of words in news presentation, speed of reading, the general language and tone of voice all influence audience appreciation of issues carried in the news (Boyd, 1993).

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Against this background — and with the knowledge of the circumlocution, pronoun mismatching, nouns, especially proverbial names and other names with indirect meanings, evasions, hedges and various forms of pre-sequences as used in Adom FM news broadcast — the problem this research will study is: what has been the impact, negative or positive, of Adom FM‘s style of news presentation, which makes use of proverbs, humour, innuendos, presequences among others, on audience appreciation of issues of social and national importance?

1.3

Research Objective

General Objective The General Objective of this study is to: Examine how effective Akan radio news has been in making use of proverbs, humour, evasions, hedges and various forms of pre-sequences in news presentation. Specific Objectives Specifically, the objectives of this study will be to: 1. Investigate the perception of Adom FM audience towards style of Akan radio news presentation on Adom in few words. 2. Investigate how audience perception of Akan radio news presentation has affected their understanding of issues contained in the news. 3. To find out whether use of proverbs, humour, hedges, evasions and pre-sequences and style of news presentation is understood by the audience as intended. 4. To find out whether news room practices of news gathering, preparation and presentation follow NMC ‗Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting‘.

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1.4

Justification of the Study

One of the controversies surrounding Akan radio news presentation is that it is a deviation from the traditional style of news presentation which is straight-forward, concise and unblemished with proverbs, humour or innuendos. Akan radio news presentation contains all these characteristics and more (TV3 Evening News; 10 August, 2009). However, Akan radio, along with its peculiar programming characteristics has enjoyed a favourable audience size mainly due to the size of the illiterate population in the country and the commonality of Akan language among different cultures in the urban areas in Ghana. The popularity of Akan radio is also due to the ease of understanding the Akan language among people of different ethnic groups in Ghana. The justification for this study is to offer an insight into the usefulness or otherwise of Akan radio news presentation in fulfilling one of the tasks of journalism – creating awareness of issues of social or national importance for societal improvement. Subsequently, this study will help us understand whether presenting news in Akan with proverbs, humour, and evasions better sends the intended message appropriately. 1.5 Scope of the Study The focus of the study is exaggerations, hedges, ―verbal indirection‖ and humourous statements as used in Adom FM major news called Adom Kaseibo. There are three (3) of such major news bulletin every day from Monday to Sunday – this bulletin is done from 6am to 6:30am, 12:00pm to 12:45pm and 6:00pm to 6:30pm (adomonline.com). Even though other programmes like Kasa wo tiri ho, Apomudin, Ofie Kwanso, Amamre Nsem and Odo Ahoma are informative in nature and use humour, evasions, hedges and circumlocution, these will not be a part of the scope of the study. Essentially, the focus of this study is on all the activities, that is bulletin of the main news

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items, interviews with relevant authorities/personality or experts and related activities, undertaken on Adom Kaseibo and the style this is done with peculiar characteristics like hedges, circumlocution, evasions and humour. 1.6 Organisation of the Study This study is grouped into five (5) chapters as follows: Chapter One deals with the Introduction of the study. This chapter is composed of an elaboration of the Background Statement, Problem Statement, Research Objectives (broad and specific objectives), Justification of the Study, and the Scope of the Study. Chapter Two concerns the Literature Review. Here, the Theoretical Framework of the study, concise but detailed account of related studies reviewed (Review of Related Studies), and Operational Definitions are articulated. Chapter Three focuses on the Methodology. The Sample, Sampling Technique and Population will be explained. Additionally, Instruments of Data Collection, Design of the research and Procedure, detailing statements of the steps taken in the collection of data is made accurately. Chapter Four is about the Results. Because this is a qualitative study, Data Analysis and Discussion will be undertaken with sufficient and convincing evidence. The final chapter, Chapter Five will provide a Summary, Conclusion and Suggestion for further study, and where there were any limitations it shall be mentioned. A Reference list of all sources used in the study shall also be included (Bibliography) along with an Appendices of Questionnaires and Question Guides used.

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CHAPTER TWO 2.0 Literature Review Most of the books that have tutored students of communication, some of who end up in the Akan-language oriented radio stations, are written in English, and authored by either a British or American. The British or American societies have social interactive characteristics entirely different from Ghana‘s. Use of proverbs, humour, evasions, hedges and various forms of presequences are not part of hard news presentation style per text-book explanations and propositions. But the issue still remains that audience appeal, expectations and needs which has a psychological or social basis must be taken into consideration in presentation of any media output or product. 2.1 Theoretical Framework This study is situated within three communication theories namely: The Uses and Gratification Theory, Encoding/Decoding Model and Social Responsibility Theory. The Uses and Gratification Theory studies the uses to which people put media and the satisfactions they seek from that use. According to McQuail (2005:p.423), ―the idea that media use depends on the perceived satisfaction, needs, wishes or motives of prospective audience member is almost as old as media research itself‖. He proceeds to state that formation of an audience toward a particular media product is ―on the basis of similarities of individual need, interest and taste‖. And many of these individual preferences in need, interest and taste originate from a social or psychological base. These needs include information, relaxation, companionship, diversion or escape. The Uses and Gratifications Approach or Theory came about as a result of the search for explanations of the great appeal of certain staple media contents (McQuail, 2005). The central

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question that the Uses and Gratifications Approach asks is: why do people use media, and what do they use them for? Hence the basic theme of Uses and Gratification Theory is the idea that people use the media to get specific gratifications (Baran and Davis, 2003). Media serves various needs of the society. For example the media is used for cohesion, cultural continuity, social control and a large circulation of public information of all kinds. This means that individuals also use media for related purposes such as personal guidance, relaxation, adjustment, information and identity formation. One of the first studies to be grounded in the Uses and Gratifications Theory was in 1947 and it focused on the reasons for the popular appeal of different radio programmes, especially ―soap operas‖ and quizzes, and also looked at daily newspaper reading (Lazarfeld and Stanton, 1944; cited in McQuail, 2005:p.422). These studies for instance found that day-time soap operas, although often dismissed as superficial were found significant by their women listeners. They perceived it as a source of advice and support – a role model of house wife and mother – or an occasion for emotional release through laughter or tears (Herzog, 1944; Warner and Harry, 1948; cited in McQuail, 2005:p.424). Contemporary conception of the Uses and Gratifications Theory is as follows: ‖(1) The social and psychological origins of (2) needs which generate (3) expectations of (4) the mass media or other sources which lead to (5) differential exposure (or engaging in other activities) resulting in (6) need gratification and (7) other consequences‖ (McQuail, 2005:p.425). The first specific objective of this research: to investigate the perception of Adom FM audience towards Akan radio news presentation is grounded in the Uses and Gratification Theory.

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By identifying which expectations audience have in listening to Adom Kaseibo, this study can analyse Adom Kaseibo’s ability or inability to fulfill audience needs and expectations which then helps this study to assess its impact on the audience. That is, premised on the assumption that audiences are drawn to programmes which gratify their particular needs, this study, will find out what expectations audience have in listening to Adom Kaseibo and whether these expectations are met. An idea about the expectations of audience and whether they are being met will inform this study as to whether Adom Kaseibo is meeting its task – mainly information, but also correlation, surveillance, mobilization and continuity – or meeting some other, unintended and/or inappropriate task. That is, this study will apply the Uses and Gratifications principle of need-expectationsatisfaction trio for audience formation towards a programme to find out if proverbs, humour, evasions, pre-sequences, circumlocution and exaggeration form part of the audience‘s (1) needs which translate into (2) expectation of these needs on Adom FM‘s news bulletin and whether this expectation is (3) satisfied or gratified. An idea of what these needs are, and whether they are met or satisfied can help the study meet its broad objective. Furthermore, since the theory postulates that ―need gratification‖ results in ―other consequences‖, this study, within the Uses and Gratifications Theory, will identify these ―consequences‖ which may manifest in the form of a particular opinions towards certain social, economic and political issues. The Encoding/Decoding Model of Communication proposed by Stuart Hall asserts that encoding, which is the processes and tools of forming a message, and the process of deriving meaning from the message, or decoding, are fundamental in the communicative process (Hall,

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1974; cited in McQuail, 2005:p.117). However if meaning is not derived from the message, the audience will not be able to translate/consume the message which further prevents it from being reproduced. Hence, the circuit remains incomplete. Hall notes that it is in this way that each element in the communication process is linked (McQuail, 2005). The message in its natural form must be encoded by the source and decoded by the receiver so that a symbolic exchange is produced. The use of language predominates in each process despite the fact that each process occurs at fixed moments (Baran and Davis, 2003). Because the broadcaster makes certain assumptions about the audience in sending a message, Hall supports the view that the audience is paradoxically both the source and receiver of the message. However the message must be correctly decoded by the receiver in order for meaningful exchange to take place. In other words, the message cannot be said to have been understood unless it produces the intended reaction or consequences within the audience. In Halls view, media messages are always open and ‗polysemic‘, that is they have multiple meanings, and their interpretation or so-called ‗decoding‘ is influenced by the ―…context and the culture of the receivers‖ (McQuail, 2000: p.56). David Morley (1978), a colleague of Hall‘s, set out to test the encoding/decoding model by examining the potential for ‗differential decoding‘ by groups from different socio-cultural backgrounds (Baran and Davis, 2003. p270). He found that people‘s meaning of media messages was influenced, among other things, by their social positions and particular discourse positions (Baran and Davis, 2003). That is, if we group audience into ‗dominant‘, ‗negotiated‘ or ‗oppositional‘, where the ‗dominant‘ groups are those whose values are closest to the values of the programme, or ‗oppositional‘ who actually reject the values of the programme and the

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‗negotiated‘ who stand in between these two, depends, not only the closeness of the values of the programme to the values of the audience, or their rejection of the values of a programme, but rather the closeness of the programme to their social positions, which can be several, example farmer, banker, pastor and ethnicity, and what they like to talk about—what matters to them. The ‗values‘ of a programme are reflected by the style of presentation, kinds of topics discussed among other things. Essentially, the principles of encoding/decoding model of communication are: the multiplicity of meanings of media content; the existence of varied ‗interpretive‘ communities; and the primacy of the receiver in determining meaning (McQuail, 2005). Accra, Tema and surrounding areas where Adom Kaseibo reach is composed of multicultural audience groups who, by virtue of their different social and psychological compositions may interpret Adom Kaseibo differently when proverbs, humour, evasions, hedges and various forms of pre-sequences, which define the ‗values‘ of Adom Kaseibo, are used. Audience who understand the Akan language, along with the myriad of the Akan social interaction characteristic have a better chance of decoding the messages encoded by the media houses. But the possibility of blocking the intended message of Adom FM‘s news of creating awareness of the issues in the news (also called ‗dominant reading‘) is a possibility when proverbs, pre-sequences and innuendos are used in the news presentation because not all Ghanaians, even Akan themselves, may understand the Akan language thoroughly. Furthermore, Morley‘s study revealed that social positions affected the decoding process of audiences and since the audience of Adom FM is multicultural and made up of people with different occupations, ethnicity and different preferences of topics, the investigation into whether

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audience of Adom FM identify important issues when news is presented with proverbs, humour, evasions, hedges and pre-sequences can be achieved by grounding it in this encoding/decoding model of communication. Social Responsibility theory of the press came as a result of lapses and weaknesses in the Libertarian Theory. Libertarian Theory of the Press takes the philosophical path that audiences are rational and can identify between falsehoods and truths hence there should be no government interventions to regulate or control the media – the media should inform, entertain, sell and check on government. However, the tenets of the Social Responsibility Theory are as follows: freedom and responsibility must go hand-in-hand; whiles preserving the freedom of the press, the media must be constantly reminded of their responsibility to provide accurate and balanced information to members of the society so that an informed citizenry can make wise and informed decisions; and whiles the media inform, educate, entertain and sell they must also help to put important issues on the public agenda for discussion (Baran and Davis, 2003). Under the Libertarian atmosphere in the United States, there were many instances of abuse of press freedom. As a result a commission was set up to ―examine areas and circumstances under which the press…is succeeding or failing‖ (McQuail, 2005:p.170). The report coined the notion of social responsibility and named key journalistic standards that the press should seek to maintain. Under this theory of social responsibility, the press should provide a full, truthful, comprehensive and intelligent account of the day‘s events in a context which gives them meaning (McQuail, 2005). The report further stated that the press should serve as a forum for the exchange of

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comment and criticism and be a common carrier of the public expression. Thirdly, the press should be a representative of the constituents groups in society and also present and clarify the goals and values of society (McQuail, 2005). In general the commission supported the concept of a diverse, objective, informative and independent press institution which would avoid causing offense or encouraging crime, disorder or violence. Social responsibility should be reached by self-control, not government intervention. However, government‘s intervention was not totally ruled out. The ―theory of social responsibility‖ involved a view of media ownership as a form of public trust or stewardship, rather than as an unlimited private franchise. One of the members of the commission, according to McQuail (2005) wrote:‖ Inseparable from the right of the press to be free has been the right of the people to have a free press. But the public interest has advanced beyond that point. It is now the right of the people to have an adequate press‖ (Hocking W., 1947; cited in MaQuail, 2005:p.171). The main functions of communication in society according to Lasswell (1948) were surveillance of environment, correlation of parts of the society in responding to its environment, and the transmission of the cultural heritage‖ (McQuail, 2005). But Wright (1960) used the functions above to describe the effect of media and added entertainment as a fourth key media task. Even though this is in line with the ‗transmission paradigm‘ of media effects, it has a particular twist to it: ―that of providing individual reward, relaxation and reduction of tension, which makes it easier for people to cope with real life problems and for societies to avoid breakdown‖ (McQuail, 2005).

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With the addition of a fifth item, mobilisation – designed to reflect the widespread appreciation of mass communication to political and commercial propaganda – we can name the following set of basic ideas about media functions in society: Information    Providing information about events and conditions in society and the world. Indicating relations of power Facilitating innovation, adaption and propaganda

Correlation       Explaining, interpretation and commenting in the meaning of the events and information. Providing support for established norms Socialization Coordinating separate activities Consensus building Setting orders of priority

Continuity  Expressing the dominant culture and recognising sub-cultures and new cultural developments  Forging and maintaining commonality of value

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Entertaining   Providing amusement, diversion and the means of relaxation Reducing social tension

Mobilisation  Campaigning for societal objectives in the sphere of politics, war, economic development, work and sometimes religion (McQuail, 2005). Adom Kaseibo is a news programme and hence its main function, the provision of information, providing information about events and conditions in society comprehensibly, is paramount. My reason for relating this theory to the study is to examine Adom FM‘s social responsibility in using proverbs, humour, evasions, hedges and various forms of pre-sequences in meeting the information needs of audience through Adom Kaseibo. Is Akan radio news presentation being socially responsible? This is the connection of this theory of social responsibility and the discussion of the impact of Adom FM radio news presentation on audience. By understanding the social responsibility status of Akan news on Adom using the above functions as benchmark, an insight can be gained about its impact on audience. 2.2 Review of Related Studies This study reviewed a total of five works. Three of the works reviewed dealt specifically with Akan language broadcasting on radio, one dealt generally with language use in radio broadcasting, and the last one was on reasons for poor performance of news reporting on a certain radio station.

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The reviews of related work looked at the topic, objectives, sample and sampling techniques, findings and how the works relates to this study. However, for some of the works, this study critiqued certain procedural aspects and findings. Owusu E. (2009) studied ―The Use of Local Language in Radio Broadcasting And Freedom of Speech: A Case Study of Peace FM‖ and her General Objective was to examine the extent to which local language—specifically Akan language—has enhanced freedom of speech in Ghana. The Scope of her research was on all programs including the major news bulletins. She wanted to know, among other things, how effective local language in radio broadcasting affects the level of awareness of the listeners; whether listeners prefer programme broadcasts in local language than in foreign language or both and; how freedom of expression has been affected by local language broadcasting. Using the simple random technique, she sampled 60 respondents in Accra and Suhum comprising of both illiterates and literates. For the literates, she administered questionnaires, but the illiterates, she interviewed them. Of the 60 respondents, she found that 55% were females and 45% were males meaning, according to her, that more females listened to radio as compared to males. She also found that 90% of respondents said they prefer Akan for radio broadcasting, as against 10% for ‗no‘. And 55% of respondents said they listened to Peace FM‘s news bulletins— meaning ―more people listen to Peace FM‘s news bulletin‖.

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Also 58% of respondents said they agree that Peace FM‘s news bulletins exaggerated facts, but 68% said it helped them understand national issues better because they delve deeper into the issues. However, it is my view that the sample size was very small and not representative of the population—residents of Accra and Suhum. Also her investigation of freedom of speech, an important part of her research was not thorough. It was a ‗yes‘ (97%) or ‗no‘ (3%) answer from respondents. Since majority of them had at least basic level education, did they know what it was? What is the manifestation of this freedom of expression? What are they able to do now that they could not do before local radio began? What constituted freedom of speech or expression for respondents? All these salient issues were ignored. The relation between my study and Owusu‘s study is that both studies are about Akan radio and how effective it was in creating audience awareness about national issues. That is both studies are interested in how Akan language radio is fulfilling its journalistic task. However, a fundamental difference is that she treated news presentation partially, but this study treats it holistically. Dornoo J. (2008) studied ―Use of Twi on Peace FM and its Impact in terms of Patronage: A Case Study of Listeners at Lapaz New Market Community‖ and found that 93% of her randomly sampled 200 respondents spoke Twi. She also found that 56% of respondents were illiterates, and of all the reasons given for why audience chose Akan radio, the overriding one was the use of Akan language in the broadcast which represented 33% as against 25% for programme content and 23% for presenter. 37 respondents representing 18.5% did not answer.

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It was a quantitative study that shed light on the appeal of Akan radio to listeners and the kinds of people who listen to it. Her broad objective was to access Peace FM‘s impact on the people of Lapaz New Market Community with its dominant use of Twi for broadcasting. But specifically she wanted to investigate the reasons for audience‘s decision to listen to Peace FM; examine whether among the other local languages like Ewe, Ga, Hausa and Nzema, Akan language predominantly constituted people‘s choice of language for broadcasting and; assess the effectiveness of Peace FM‘s broadcast in Akan language. This study is undertaking a similar task only with a different Akan radio as the focus. But additionally, this study will analyse the conformity of news room practice of news gathering, processing and presentation with NMC guideline for news gathering, processing and presentation. Nukpeza R. (2007) looked at ―Poor Performance of News Reporting on our Radio Stations: A Case Study of Rite FM‖. One of his objectives was to understand what has been the impact of news on Rite FM audience. But he also wanted to understand why FM stations produce poor news. At first glance, the title looked very interesting but this study can hardly be described as a scientific study. Firstly, the study used ―both probability and non-probability sampling‖ without explaining which samples constituted the probability and non-probability sampling.

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Secondly, the study, per the topic, was case studying a certain Rite FM. So what comes to mind immediately is either Rite FM was presenting poor news so it was investigating it to identify the problem, or Rite FM was doing good news reporting so it was going to use it as a benchmark to assess other news reports. But it was none. Rather he used workers of Rite FM and another station in Ada as respondents. They numbered only 38, according him, and nothing was said about which work they did at the station. This is important because they could include receptionists and cleaners, who may not know anything about what makes good news reports, as well as journalists and editors who could offer laudable insights. An idea of which categories of workers interviewed was very important. Furthermore, his only well-articulated finding: journalism institutions should train students properly, and also they should include practicals in their teaching was not presented in percentage of respondents who said or suggested this—it was stated like a summary of findings or conclusion, using age categories of respondents in place of what should have been percentage distributions or number of respondents. For instance he said respondents between the ages of 18 and 26 said journalism institutions should train students better. The study, if it had been done properly, would have provided insights into reasons for poor news reporting, what constituted poor news reports and how it affected audience since this study has mentioned elsewhere that the controversies surrounding Akan Radio news presentation is that it was unprofessional in its use of certain devices like proverbs, humour and hedges. Vandyk A.J.(2001), in her study titled ―An Assessment of the Performance of Adom FM: A Case Study of Residents of Tema Community 2‖ stated that 62.1% of respondents were of the view that the presentation style of broadcasting on Adom FM is exceptionally good and 65.5% of

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respondents preferred the use of the Akan language in programme presentation. This was because ―most people understand the Akan language more than any other language‖. The purpose of the study was to assess the general performance of Adom FM. She used the quantitative method of data collection, where she administered questionnaires to the sample population. Another study conducted by Arthur C. (2000) on ―Language Use in FM Radio Broadcasting‖ revealed that although students understand the Akan language, most of them listen to radio stations that broadcast in the English language. The prominent reason for this was that Englishlanguage-oriented radio stations were straightforward, concise and unambiguous in their news presentation, and in the presentation of other programmes. The purpose of his study was to assess students‘ perception of, and attitude towards their own local language used in radio broadcasting. He used the multi-stage cluster sampling. The immediate two reviews have demonstrated that on the one hand, Akan radio news presentation appealed to a section of the audience, and on another hand, it was unpopular to another section of the audience. The implication of this observation can be explained by considering the sample population of the two studies: students (who understand the English language and were exposed to news on either foreign or local English language news presentation) and audience who ―understand Akan language more than any other language‖, and hence were not interested in English-language oriented radio .The students judged the Akanlanguage news on Adom FM against what they have been exposed to over the years, and perceived less of it. The second group was only interested in the fact that they too can get to know what is going on around them first hand through the Akan Radio News presentation.

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Many other studies on local radio (for example Egyima A.(2008), Osew A.S (2001) and Owusu E. (2009)) have indicated that, generally, audience prefer local language use by radio stations. The reason for this, apart from the obvious that most people easily understand Akan, it is also a way to ―portray our Ghanaian culture‖ (Owusu, 2009). The above reviews of related research indicate that study or research emphasis has been on the perception, appeal and use of local language in broadcasting. But none has focused on the impact which local radio, which in Ghana now has been predominantly Akan, has had on audience. My idea is that news presentation is particularly influential in attitude formation about important social and national issues for any audience and hence it is a good starting point. Even though there have been significant changes and improvements in the media terrain, with respect to technology, and programme contents, the basics of news which is: Report events as they happened or are happening without use of proverbs, humour and pre-sequences, have not changed (Shrivastava, 2003). But what is observed in Ghana, with respect to Akan Radio news broadcast is worth studying to assess what its impact has been. 2.3 Operational Definition of Terms Akan Radio News Presentation (Adom FM News Presentation): Radio news presented in Akan-language which is full of exaggerations, hedges, ―verbal indirection‖ and humourous statements. This type of radio news presentation mirrors Akan social interactive characteristics, and it is highly informal. Journalism Standard: With respect to radio news, factual, concise, straight-forward and formal reportage of recent events or happenings. Also, such reportage of recent events or happenings is not done with proverbs, innuendos, pre-sequences or humour.

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Informal: Down-to-earth and highly interactive style of news presentation. Literates: Respondents with educational levels SHS and above. Semi-Literates: Respondents with educational levels not exceeding SHS Illiterates: Respondents with educational levels only up to JHS

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CHAPTER THREE 3.0 Methodology According to Wiersma (1995:p.409) ―the methods or procedures section is really the heart of the research…‖ This section of my study will indicate methodological steps that were taken to meet the objectives of this research. Areas that will be covered here include the research design, population, sample size, sampling method and data collection. 3.1 Research Design The purpose and objectives of any research determines how the research will be designed. The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables us to answer the initial questions and/or to meet the research objectives as unambiguously as possible (Kerlinger, 1979). This section deals with the type of data or evidence that will be collected, composition of the sample, methods of data collection, and tools of data collection. It will also state which side this research is essentially skewed to under the description, explanatory and exploratory categories of research. This study is essentially exploratory—it examines the effectiveness of proverbs, humour, hedges, pre-sequences and so forth in Akan radio. Also the forth specific objective of this research will explain how news gathering, preparation and presentation are undertaken on an Akan radio. This will provide an insight into why Akan radio news has the characteristic features associated with it. Furthermore this study will also explore how Akan radio news is perceived among audience of different social positions.

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Exploratory research provides insights into and comprehension of an issue or situation. It normally does not draw definitive conclusions and when it does, it does so with extreme caution (Babbie, 1989). Thus this study will try to gain insight into the whole phenomenon of Akan news presentation through Adom FM and understand how effective or otherwise it has been. According to Earl Babbie (2001) exploratory research is used when the problem is in a preliminary stage. Exploratory research is used when the topic or issue is new and when data is difficult to collect. In the end, exploratory research will help define problems and suggest hypotheses (Kotler et al, 2006, p. 122). Furthermore, the flexibility of exploratory research enables it to answer research questions of all types—that is ‗what‘, ‗why‘ and ‗how‘ questions. This is why exploratory research is often used to generate formal hypothesis (Babbie, 1989). 3.2 Population This study deals with two main populations: residents of Kotobabi (1st Yarboi Link) and members of Adom FM news team (reporters, newscasters and editors). Sampling was by purposive sampling of both populations. Also interviews and self-administered questionnaires were the data collection instruments—interviews for residents of Kotobabi and questionnaires for members of the news team of Adom FM. The study targeted audience of Adom FM on 1st Yarboi Link—a street in Kotobabi, in Accra. According to the Electoral Commission of Ghana‘s Voter‘s Register, there are a total of 1,927 registered voters at the St. Michael‘s College Polling Station which is the only polling station on 1st Yarboi Link (Electoral Commission Voter‘s Register, 2008). Essentially this means that most residents on the 1st Yarboi Link form part of the voter‘s register of the St. Michael‘s College Polling Station.

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Even though a breakdown in the number of females and males, educational levels, income levels and others could not be obtained from Electoral Commission‘s Voter‘s Register, the sampling technique, purposive sampling, will make up for any major methodological inconsistency of the study. That is by intentionally selecting respondents, this researcher made sure that the respondents represented the relevant population as much as possible. This researcher has lived on 1st Yarboi Link for over 15 years thus has an idea about the people, so how to select literates and/or illiterates comes relatively easy. Also part of the population is the reporters, newscasters and editors of Adom FM. According to secondary data obtained from Adom FM, as at May 20, 2010, there was about 19 staff in the Adom FM news department (in an interview with an Adom FM news editor). They include 6 regular newscasters (two for each of morning, afternoon and evening news bulletins), 3 editors (one editor and two sub-editors) and 10 reporters. 3.3 Sample Size 50 respondents were purposively sampled from the houses on 1st Yarboi Link for this study. They comprised of literates, semi-literates and illiterates (operational definition of literates, semiliterates and illiterates is provided above). 10 respondents comprising 3 newscasters, 5 reporters and 2 news editor were sampled to answer questions relating to section ―D‖ of the questionnaire concerning news room practice of news gathering, preparation and presentation. Hence in a nutshell, a total of 60 respondents were sampled. Also, this study sampled residents of 1st Yarboi Link who had listened to Adom FM at least once a week for the past year.

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3.4 Sampling technique According to Huston & Merrigan (2004), nonrandom selection methods involves selecting people and respondents in ways that do not ensure that the resulting data simply represents some theoretic population. Interpretive or exploratory research is likely to prefer nonrandom selection methods because interpretive research claims are more likely to be based on representing communication phenomena with a specific context (Merrigan & Huston, 2001). Hence this research adopted the purposive sampling technique. Purposive samples intentionally focus on the target group with the exclusion of other groups (Smith, 1988:p.85; cited in Merrigan & Huston, 2001). Purposive sampling methods lack representativeness, just as do other nonrandom selection methods. However, randominsation may not be a practical desirable way to collect audience about some research question. This situation applies to this research as well. The research concerns audience of Adom FM who, have different social positions or occupation and may come from different ethnicities. 3.5 Data Collection Collection of primary data was by interviews of the purposively sampled residents of 1st Yarboi Link in Kotobabi and selected staff of Adom FM. This was to ensure uniformity of the data collection process since the disparities in the educational level of respondents in this category could result in inconsistency in comprehension of question and even in some cases the ability to read the questions if a questionnaire was administered. The interview questions were informed by an interview guide to ensure consistency of questions asked of respondents.

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However for members of the news team of Adom FM, a questionnaire was administered to them. Other data was also obtained from documents such as the NMC‘s guidelines for local language broadcasting. Secondary data came from books, and institutions like the Electoral Commission (EC) and Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). This research used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. 3.6 Data Collection Instruments This study used semi-structured interviews. According to Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 1996; cited in Huston and Merrigan, 2004), semi-structured interviews or ―non-schedulestructured‖ interviews has the following characteristics: 1. It asks respondents to reflect on an experience or concept that they all have in common 2. It refers to situations or constructs that have been analysed and then defined prior to the interview 3. It requires the interviewer to use an interview guide that specifies topics of interest to the study 4. It focuses on the participants understanding or meaning of a particular concept or experience. These features of the semi-structured interview informed the interview guide used for this study. Essentially the interview questions were specific questions that sought to answer the research questions of this study. The study collected data by interviewing purposively sampled literates, semi-literates and illiterates of residents of 1st Yarboi Link in Kotobabi. An interview guide made use of semi-

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structured questions, consisting of 16 questions divided into five sections, ‗A‘, ‗B‘, ‘C‘, ‗D‘ and ‗E‘. Section A consisted of questions seeking information about the demography of respondents. Section B also consisted of relevant questions concerning the perception of respondents towards Akan radio news presentation on Adom FM, while questions in section C investigated respondents‘ understanding of humour, proverbs and so on used on Adom FM news presentation. Section D consists of questions concerned with respondent‘s understanding of the proverbs, humour and others used in Adom FM news bulletins Staffs of the Adom FM news team were made to answer questions only in section E about the conformity of news room practice of news gathering, preparation and presentation with NMC guidelines for local language news presentation.

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CHAPTER FOUR 4.0 Results

This research sought to study effectiveness of Akan radio news presentation with its characteristic use of proverbs, exaggeration, circumlocution, pre-sequences as done on Adom Kaseibo. 50 respondents was the number of respondents targeted, but 48 respondents were obtained. Specifically this study aimed at the following: 1. Investigate the perception of Adom FM audience towards style of Akan radio news presentation on Adom in few words. 2. Investigate how audience perception of Akan radio news presentation has affected their understanding of issues contained in the news. 3. To find out whether use of proverbs, humour, hedges, evasions and presequences and style of news presentation is understood by the audience as intended. 4. To find out whether news room practices of news gathering, preparation and presentation follow NMC ‗Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting‘. With diagrams, tables, figures and charts, this part presents the findings of the study. Also description and interpretation is done here to present results as convincing as possible. Furthermore, quotes from respondents, relevant examples and data from other credible and authoritative sources are provided to firm up the evidence and make this study conform to the tenets of academic study. Each of the specific objectives will now be discussed and analysed as objectively and thoroughly as possible.

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i.

Data Analysis and Discussion

SECTION A PERSONAL DATA OF RESPONDENTS a. Educational Level of Respondents Of the 48 respondents interviewed, 12 (representing 25 percent) were literates, 21 were semiliterates (43.75 percent) and 15 were illiterates (representing 31.25 percent). Table 4.1.1: Representation of respondents according to their education level Educational Level Semi-literates Frequency 21 Percentage(%) 43.75

Literates

12

25

Illiterates

15

31.25

Total

48

100

Fig 4.1.1: Representation of respondents according to their education level

Education Level of respondents
Illiterates 31% Literates 25%

Semi-literates 44%

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Age range of Respondents 38 respondents were between 18-25, 7 fell between 26-33 range and 3 was between the 34-41 age range. None of the respondents was more than 41 years of age. Table 4.1.2: Age range of respondents Age Range 18-25 26-33 34-41 Total Frequency 38 7 3 48 Percentage (%) 71.17 14.6 6.25 100

Fig 4.1.2: Age range of respondents

Age Range of respondents
18-25 26-33 34-41

15%

6%

79%

50

b. Occupation of Respondents Broadly, I grouped my respondents into three categories, ―Students‖, ―Office workers‖ and ―Labourers‖. ―Students‖ comprise those respondents attending school (either at the basic, high school or tertiary level). In some instances, some respondents answered as being ―student-workers‖ implying they were attending school as well as earning income from some sort of preoccupation, but they were asked to choose which one they would want to be identified with, and they answered as students only. ―Office workers‖ comprise of people working in white-collar jobs. They include stock brokers, public relations officials among others. ―Labourers‖ include market women, plumbers, electricians, and mechanics. They are those people whose work is manual and informal. Of the 48 respondents, 30 were Students (62.5%), 8 were Office workers (16.67%) and 10 were Labourers (20.83%). Table 4.1.3: Occupation of Respondents Occupation Students Office workers Labourers Total Frequency 30 8 10 48 Percentage (%) 62.5 16.67 20.83 100

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Fig 4.1.3: Occupation distribution of respondents

Occupation of respondents
Occupation of respondents

62.50%

20.83%

16.67%

Labourers

Office Workers

Students

Table 4.1.4: Occupation distribution versus education level
Semi-literates Students Office workers Labourers Total 12 6 3 21 Literates 11 1 0 12 Illiterates 7 1 7 15 Total 30 8 10 48

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Figure 4.1.4: Occupation distribution versus education level

12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Students Office workers Labourers

SECTION B RESPONDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF THE STYLE OF AKAN RADIO NEWS PRESENTATION ON ADOM IN FEW WORDS. Relevant questions asked respondents in the interview was whether the words “informative”, “entertaining”, “informative and entertaining”, and “uninformative but entertaining” fits their description of Adom Kaseibo. Of the 48 respondents interviewed, 33 respondents representing (82.5%) perceived of Akan radio news presentation as ―Informative and Entertaining‖, 8 respondents, representing (16.67%) thought of it as ―uninformative but entertaining‖ 4 perceived of it as ―entertaining‖ only and 3 ―informative only‖ (representing 8.33 and 6.25 % respectively).

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Table 4.1.5: Respondent‘s perception of Akan radio news presentation Perception Informative entertaining and Frequency 33 Percentage (%) 82.5

Uninformative entertaining

but

8

16.67

Informative Entertaining Total

3 4 48

6.25 8.33 100

Fig
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

4.1.5:Respondent’s

perception

of

Akan

radio

news

presentation

Series1

Informative Uninformative Entertaining and but only Entertaining Entertaining

Informative only

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Of the 33 (82.5 %) who perceived of the Akan news as ―informative and entertaining‖, 15 were semi-literates, 9 respondents were literates and another 9 were illiterates. Of the 8 (16.67%) respondents who thought of it as ―uninformative but entertaining‖ 3 were literates and 5 were semi-literates, no illiterate perceived as ―uninformative but entertaining‖. 3 (6.25%) illiterate respondents said the news was ―entertaining‖ only. One semi-literate respondent and 3 illiterate respondents, that is 4 respondents (representing 8.33%) perceived of it as ―informative‖ only. When respondents were asked to give their own description of Akan news presentation, some of the descriptions were ―comic relief‖, ―joke‖, ―very informative‖, ―very entertaining‖ among others. Table 4.1.6: Education level of respondents and their perception of Akan news presentation.
Perception Informative and Entertaining Education level Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Uninformative but Entertaining Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Informative Semi-literates Frequency 15 9 9 3 5 0 1 0 3 0 0 3 48 100 6.25 8.33 16.17 33 Percentage (%)

Literates
Illiterates Entertaining Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Total

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Fig 4.1.6: Education level of respondents and their perception of Akan news presentation.

16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Illiterates Illiterates Illiterates Series1

Semi-literates

Semi-literates

Semi-literates

Informative and Entertaining

Uniformative but Entertaining

Informative Only Entertaining Only

Another significant question posed through the interview was aimed at knowing if Akan radio news presented with humour, exaggeration and indirect expressions helps respondents understand the content of the news. 27 respondents said “yes” they understood the content of the news when proverbs, humour, exaggeration and indirect expressions were used in the news. However, some were quick to mention that not all the proverbs were familiar to them. About 10 of the 27 respondents who answered yes said sometimes the humour, proverbs and indirect expression distracted them from understanding the rest of the news when these devices were used for one particular story. That is the laughter evoked by some of these humour prevented them from listening to the rest of the stories. Of this same group of people who answered yes, some spoke passionately about the use of Akan numbers. They complained bitterly about their inability to understand figures when they were mentioned in Akan only.

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Semi-literates

Illiterates

Literates

Literates

Literates

Literates

12 respondents answered that even though they understood the content of the news, this was “not always” the case. They used words like ―not really‖, ―somehow‖, ―I am not sure‖ and ―yes, but not every story‖. 9 respondents answered “no”—they did not understand the content at all when humour, exaggeration, presequence and circumlocution were used in a news story. However, this researcher is of the view that, there was a bit of exaggeration in this answer because these same respondents had answered elsewhere that they understood Akan language and that they have listened to Adom Kaseibo at least once a week for the past 6 months.

Table 4.1.7: Respondents response to whether they understand the content of Akan news presentation Response Yes No Not always Total Frequency 27 9 12 48 Percentage (%) 56.25 18.75 25 100

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Fig 4.1.7: Respondents response to whether they understand the content of Akan news presentation

Respondents' Understanding of the content of news
YES NO NOT ALWAYS

19% 25% 56%

All the respondents interviewed could speak the Akan language and had listened to Adom Kaseibo at least once a week in the last 6 months. SETCTION C HOW RESPONDENTS UNDERSTAND THE NEWS ON ADOM FM The words ―exaggerated‖, ―factual‖, ―made less important‖, ―humourous‖, ―humourous but factual‖ were presented to respondents to choose which one conformed to their description of how news was presented on Adom FM. 36 respondents (75%) said ―exaggerated‖ conformed to their description of how news was presented on Adom FM. 6 respondents believed that issues presented on Adom Kaseibo were ―made less important‖, this represented (12.5%) of the respondents. 2 respondents (or 4.17%) thought the news and issues presented were just ―humourous‖. And 4 respondents, representing 8.3% said the ―humourous but factual‖ conformed to their description of how news was presented on Adom FM.

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Table 4.1.8: Respondents‘ description of Akan radio news presentation
Response Exaggerated Factual Made less important Humourous Humourous but factual Total Frequency 36 0 6 2 4 48 Percentage (%) 75 0 12.5 4.17 8.3 100

No respondent said it was only ―factual‖. Fig 4.1.8: Respondents’ description of Akan radio news presentation
Humourous but factual 8% Humourous 4% Made less important 13% Factual 0% Exaggerated 75%

Chart Title

However, some respondents who described the news as exaggerated thought that it was ―exaggerated but still factual‖ since some of the devices used in the exaggeration were familiar to them and hence they knew it when a particular news story was being made to look grave or serious than it really was. Others in this category also used the word ―sensationalized‖. They were of the view that ―sensationalism‖ was a better description than ―exaggerated‖.

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Also, of the 36 who said the news was ―exaggerated‖, 12 were literates, this represented 33.3% of those of thought it was exaggerated. 15 were semi-literates (41.67%) and 9 were illiterates (25%). Table 4.1.9: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―Exaggerated‖
Semi-literates Exaggerated Percentage (%) 15 41.67 Literates 12 33.3 Illiterates 9 25 Total 36 100

Fig 4.1.9: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was “Exaggerated”

Illiterates 25%

Semi-Literates 42%

Literates 33%

Of the 6 respondents who described the issues presented in the news as ―made less important‖, 4 were semi-literates, 2 were illiterates representing 60% and 40% respectively. That is, of the

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group of people who thought the issues were made less important, most of them were semiliterates. The illiterates were in the minority. No literate chose this description.

Table 4.1.10: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―made less important‖
Semi-literates Made important Percentage(%) 60 40 0 100 less 4 Literates 2 Illiterates 0 Total 6

Fig 4.1.10: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was “made less important”

Illiterates 0% Literates 33% Semi-literates 67%

Of the 2 respondents who described the news as humourous, there was one respondent each of the semi-literate and illiterate level.

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Table 4.1.11: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―Humourous‖
Semi-literates Humourous Percentage(%) 1 50 Literates 0 0 Illiterates 1 50 Total 2 100

Fig 4.1.11: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was “Humourous”

Illiterate 50%

Semi-literates 50%

Literates 0%

Of the 4 respondents who said the news was ―humourous but factual‖, one was a semi-literate and 3 were illiterates, representing 25% and 75% respectively. Meaning most of the illiterates thought of the news as humourous but factual.

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Table 4.1.12: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was ―Humourous but factual‖
Semi-literates Humourous but factual Pecentage (%) 1 25 Literates 0 0 Illiterates 3 75 Total 4 100

Fig 4.1.12: Education level of respondents who thought Akan news presentation was “Humourous but factual”

Semi-literates 25%

Literates 0%

Illiterates 75%

Also when respondents in this ―humourous but factual‖ category were asked to give their description other than the one provided them, one respondent, the semi-literate, said it was ―annoying and confusing‖ and two illiterates provided description that may translate into ―engaging‖ or ―intriguing‖.

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Respondents were asked to cast their minds back to a typical news story they heard on Adom Kaseibo and describe in few sentences how they thought the story was presented. The answers they gave were put into three broad categories—Sensationalised, Humourous and Factual. All 12 literates used descriptions that suggest sensationalisation of the story. They used words such ―panic inducing‖, ―blown out of proportion‖, ―exaggerated‖ and ―sensationalized‖. That is all respondents said the news they can remember were all sensationalized. Table 4.1.13: Literate respondents‘ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo
Sensationalised Literates Percentage (%) 12 100 Humourous 0 0 Factual 0 0 Total 12 100

Fig 4.1.13: Literate respondents’ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo

Sensationalised

Humourous

Factual

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Of the 21 semi-literates who answered to this question—3 said they could not remember any story vividly enough to describe how it was presented. 9 semi-literate respondents described the story they remember as humourous. They used words like ―embellished with wise sayings‖, ―added up to make it funny‖ and ―full of drama‖. 6 described it as sensationalized, and 3 described the story they could remember as factual. Table 4.1.14: Semi-literate respondents‘ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo
Sensationalised Humourous Factual Can’t remember Total

Semi-literates Percentage

6 28.57

9 42.86

3 14.29

3 14.29

21 100

Fig 4.1.14: Semi-literate respondents’ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo

Can't remember 14% Sensationalised 29%

Factual 14%

Humourous 43%

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Of the 15 illiterate respondents, 12 respondents said it was factual. But they added other positive words such ―interesting‖, ―easily understood‖, by virtue of the fact that the presenters delved deeper into the issues during the details part of the news (after the headlines have been read). Only 3 illiterate respondents said that the stories they could remember were all sensationalised. Table 4.1.15: Illiterate respondents‘ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo
Sensationalised Illiterates Percentage 3 20 Humourous 0 0 Factual 12 80 Total 15 100

Fig 4.1.15: Illiterate respondents’ own description of how they remember the reportage of a story on Adom Kaseibo

Sensationalised 20%

Humourous 0%

Factual 80%

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All the respondents agreed that their descriptions of the stories they could remember as Sensationalised, Factual or Humourous was informed by the use of the proverbs, humour, and other devices as used on Adom Kaseibo. SECTION D RESPONDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROVERBS, HUMOUR AND OTHER DEVICES USED IN ADOM FM NEWS BULLETINS. Respondents were asked questions concerning their ability to understand the content of the news on Adom FM; their understanding of the particular proverbs, humour and innuendos as used on Adom Kaseibo; as well as their views on the appeal or otherwise of the use of proverbs, humour, innuendos and dramatizations in news presentation. They were finally asked to give their views on what should change or remain in Adom FM news presentation. The answer to the question ―do you understand the content of the news on Adom FM‖ were grouped broadly into ―yes‖ and ―no‖ and ―somehow‖. Generally, 35 respondents answered ―yes‖, representing (72.92%) and only 2 respondents answered ―no‖ representing (4.17%). 11 respondents said they understood the news ―somehow‖ representing 22.92% of the respondents.

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Table 4.1.16:Respondents‘ understanding of the content Akan news presentation. Response Yes No Somehow Total Frequency 35 2 11 48 Percentage (%) 72.92 4.17 22.29 100

Fig 4.1.16: Respondents’ understanding of the content Akan news presentation.

Respondents' understanding of Content of Akan news
Somehow 23% No 4% Yes 73%

Of the 35 respondents who answered ―yes‖, there are 9 literates, 16 semi-literates and 10 illiterates. Also, of the 2 respondents‘ who answered ―no‖, there was one literate and one semi-literate.

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Those who said they understood it ―somehow‖ were 11. They gave reasons for this answer because of the ―not-too-necessary‖ use of dramatization and innuendos. Of this 11 respondents, there were 5 literates, 4 semi-literates, and 2 illiterates. Those who said ―yes‖ said the elaborate explanation given by the newsreader was the reason for their answer. The two respondents who answered ―no‖ said they found the ―quick-pace‖ of the newsreader when presenting the news difficult to appreciate. Table 4.1.17: Educational level of respondents and how they understood the content of news. Response Education Level Frequency

Yes

Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Semi-literates Literates Illiterates

16 9 10 1 1 0 4 5 2

No

Somehow

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Fig 4.1.17: Educational level of respondents and how they understand the content of news.

16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Illiterates Illiterates Semi-literates Semi-literates Semi-literates Illiterates Literates Literates Literates

Series1

Yes

No

Somehow

Respondents were asked whether they understood the humour, proverbs and innuendos used in news presentation. 30 respondents answered ―not always‖, 10 said ―yes‖ and 8 answered ―no‖. Table 4.1.18: Respondents‘ understanding of the humour, proverbs, innuendos used in Akan news presentation Response Yes No Not Always Total Frequency 10 8 30 48 Percentage (%) 20.83 16.67 62.50 100

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Fig 4.1.18: Respondents’ understanding of the humour, proverbs, innuendos used in Akan news presentation

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No Not Always Series1

Of the 30 respondents who answered ―not always‖, there were 12 illiterates, 10 literates and 8 semi-literates. Of the 10 respondents who answered ―yes‖, 3 were illiterates, 6 were semiliterates and one was a literate. And of the 8 who answered ―no‖ there were 7 semi-literates and one literate. Fig 4.1.19: Education level and respondents’ understanding of the devices used in Akan news presentation.

12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Not Always Yes No

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On whether respondents found the use of humour, proverbs and so forth appealing in news presentation, 32 respondents said they found it appealing and 16 thought it was unnecessary— that is they did not find it appealing. Those who said they found it appealing gave reasons which include the ―spicing up of the news bulletins‖, ―the need to embrace our culture‖ and ―making the news presentation interesting‖ as some of their reasons. They included 19 semi-literates, 10 illiterates and 3 literates. Of those who said it was not necessary, 9 were literates, 5 were illiterates and 2 were semiliterates. They gave reasons such as ―it was unprofessional‖, ―it was unethical‖, it had the potential to make serious issues appear trivial (interpreted by researcher), and not everybody understood the Akan language very well. This means that semi-literates and illiterates found the use of proverbs, humour and so forth appealing in news presentation more than literates did. Table 4.1.20: Appeal/Non-appeal of the use of proverbs, humour and similar devices in Akan news among respondents.
Semi-literates Appealing Not Appealing Total 19 2 21 Literates 3 9 12 Illiterates 10 5 15 Total 32 16 48

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Fig 4.1.20: Appeal/Non-appeal of the use of proverbs, humour and similar devices in Akan news among respondents.

20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Appealing Not Appealing

Respondents‘ suggestions or views about the style of Akan radio news presentation are grouped into three categories: conservative, radical and negotiated. Conservatives generally believe nothing should be done about the present style of news presentation. Rather, more devices and Akan cultural interactional characteristics should be included in the news presentation to expose the audience to the Akan culture. Radicals want a complete overhaul of the status quo. They include those who think the present style of news presentation is ―unethical‖, ―unprofessional‖ and ethnocentric and capable of making important issues trivial or less deserving in importance. The negotiated group essentially agrees that there are problems with the present style of news presentation but modifications and slight adjustments to cater for the ―unethical‖ and

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―unprofessional‖, ethnocentric and other problems that may arise if a standardised style—that will still appeal to audience— is not put in place. Some of the specific suggestions submitted by the conservatives to the Adom FM news presentation include the repeated use of the same proverbs to stick in the minds of the audience as well as the use of Akan traditional music preceding the start of the news bulletins. The radicals wanted the adherence of Adom FM news presentation to conform to international, or text-book, standards of news presentation. They believed the words used and specific labels for the identification of some ethnic groups in Ghana were derogatory and should be sanctioned. They also wanted a style of news presentation that resembled the GBC style of news presentation in days past, where no proverbs, humour and related devices were used in the name of making news appealing or interesting since the audience would always want what makes them happy even if it is unprofessional and unethical by any legal or professional standards. The negotiated believed that the present style of Akan news presentation on Adom FM was helping in the ―cultural engineering‖ concept proposed by Ali Mazrui, which involved ―indigenising what is foreign, idealizing what is indigenous and nationalising what is sectional and emphasising what is African‖ (Mazrui, 1972; cited in Ansah P.A.V, 1985;p. 29). They also spoke specifically about the issue of ―excessive‖ use of proverbs, and humour. Some suggested that when it came to sensitive stories such as political corruption, child abuse and rape, humour should be completely ruled out or minimized in a professional manner. Also they spoke specifically about the use of Akan-only figures in news bulletins. They claimed that just like the proverbs and the use of particular innuendos, not every listener was Akan and

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not every listener understood the Akan language thoroughly and hence an additional mention of the figures, especially, should be done in English as well. Generally, 28 of the respondents‘ views fell within the ―negotiated‖ group, 9 fell within the ―radical‖ group and 11 fell within the ―conservative‖ group. Table 4.1.21: Respondents‘ views on what should change or remain about Akan radio news presentation. Frequency Negotiated Radicals Conservatives Total 28 9 11 48 Percentage (%) 58.33 18.75 22.92 100

Fig 4.1.21: Respondents’ views on what should change or remain about Akan radio news presentation

30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Series1

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Of the 28 respondents whose views fell within the ―negotiated‖ group, there were 9 literates, 12 semi-literates and 7 illiterates. Of the nine respondents‘ whose views fell within the ―radical‖ group, there were 4 semi-literates, 3 literates and 2 illiterates. And of the 11 ―conservatives‖, there were 5 semi-literates and 6 illiterates. Table 4.1.22 :Respondent‘s views versus their education level
Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Total

Negotiated

12

9

7

28

Radicals

4

3

2

9

Conservatives

5

0

6

11

Total

21

12

15

48

Fig 4.1.22: Respondent’s views versus their education level

12 10 8 Negotiated 6 4 2 0 Semi-literates Literates Illiterates Radicals Conservatives

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Almost all the respondents said they have listened to ―Ofiekwanso‖, ―Odo Ahuma So‖ and ―Adom Sports Page Two‖, making these three programmes the most popular among Adom FM audience. SECTION E NEWS GATHERING, PROCESSING AND PRESENTATION ON ADOM FM Ten questionnaires were submitted to the staff of Adom FM news team, but only 7 were returned answered accordingly. Of the seven respondents, 3 were news readers, 2 editors, one reporter/newsreader and another person who described himself as involved in preparation of the news that would be read and training news reading staff. There were four males and 3 females. 6 of the respondents had education to the tertiary level and one said he had ―training in broadcast journalism‖—nothing further was added. They all identified themselves as ―broadcasters‖. Two fell within the 18-25 age range, four within the 26-33 age range and one person was within the 50-57 age range. On how news translation from English to Akan was done on Adom FM, the relevant answer provided was that translation was done whiles the newscaster was reading on air. Others explained further: the news reader first reads through the story and by his/her own accord chose proverbs, humour and innuendos that would suit the story and whiles ―reading from a PC with story in English‖, translate the story into Akan as he/she reads along simultaneously.

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On page nine of the NMC Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting, the guide says ―translators must think of what ideas the source language sought to convey and express the idea in the target language without embellishment‖. Also, on page 8, it is advised thus:‖local language news must be subjected to the news production process in full (writing, editing, proofreading etc) to ensure that the final product is an accurate and authoritative representation of the meaning conveyed in the original communication‖. Furthermore, since newscasters choose the Akan words and proverbs to use on their own accord, it gives room for subjectivity in interpretation or explanation of an idea. Spontaneous presentation or translation is not permitted in broadcasting (NMC Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting, p.7). On this merit, this study finds news translation from English to Akan not conforming to the NMC Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting. On what language reporters gather news for processing and presentation, 5 respondents ticked English only, and 2 ticked both English and Akan. This means that generally news gathering is done in English. However the Guidelines stipulate that, ―as far as practicable, local language news must be gathered and presented in the language intended for broadcasting‖. Even though news presentation is done in Akan language, this may not necessarily mean that proficiency in Akan language is thorough for the news room staff, since proficiency involves both the ability to speak and write in a particular language well. But on page 7 of the Guidelines (section 2.2), it is stipulated that ―broadcast stations should ensure at all times that their reporters, news readers and presenters speak and write the local

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language in which they broadcast with high proficiency. It is not enough for a broadcaster to be able to speak the language‖. All respondents confirmed that newsreaders did not read news written in Akan language. This implies that newsreaders in most instances, during bulletins would translate spontaneously. However the Guidelines‘ view on this ―spontaneous composition and performance are creative elements in oral literature. An artist‘s capacity to compose and deliver on the spur of the moment is one of the key skills of traditional poets, dirge and praise singers. But this is a specialized form of art performed in defined circumstances. It is not suitable for news bulletins‖. All respondents confirmed that newsreaders use proverbs, humour and similar devices on their own accord. The Guidelines stipulate that ―proverbs, anecdotes and other linguistic devices that have the potential to embellish news stories are not permitted in local language news‖. Answers to why it is important to use proverbs, humour, innuendos and exaggerations in news may be grouped into two: those who do not agree to such labels as ―exaggeration‖ and ―innuendos‖ as a device used on Adom Kaseibo and those who say use of such of devices help in the education and entertainment of listeners. 3 respondents said the use of the term exaggerations and innuendos was a misnomer. One explained thus:‖exaggeration is not part of (our) news reading. When reading news we don‘t do it verbatim (sic) but summerise and deliver it as linguists do. Those who answered relatively favourably to this question regarding why use of proverbs and so forth is important on Adom Kaseibo all mentioned, in various ways though, that it was to educate

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the audience about aspects of our culture and to make the act of news-listening entertaining to audience. This particular intention conforms to the reasons given by most listeners on 1st Yarboi Link when they were asked whether they found use of proverbs and so forth appealing on Adom Kaseibo. 4.1 Discussion The first specific objective of this study was to find out the perception of Adom FM audience towards the style of Akan radio news presentation on Adom FM in a few words. The findings show that the perception of the audience towards Akan radio news presentation is that it is informative and entertaining. This is because 33 of the 48 respondents, representing 82.5 of the total population of the respondents chose this answer (Table 4.1.5). The Uses and Gratifications Theory proposes that media use depends on the perceived satisfaction, needs, wishes or motives of prospective audience members. Hence it follows that audience of Adom FM, even with different levels of education and social positions get certain needs, wishes or motives satisfied. These needs, motives or wishes are definitely information and entertainment. This assertion is reinforced by the answers, generally, provided by respondents when they were asked to give their own description other than the ones presented to them, which they gave as ―comic relief‖, ―joke‖, ―very informative‖, ―very entertaining‖ among others. The second specific objective of this study was to investigate how the audience perception of Akan radio news presentation had affected their understanding of issues contained in the news. 36 respondents, representing 75% of respondents said the issues were exaggerated (Table 4.1.8). Even though all the three groups of respondents who thought the news was exaggerated were in the majority, subsequent answers demonstrated that the illiterates were aware of the exaggeration

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devices used in Akan Radio News Presentation. But the literates, especially, did not think exaggeration was a deliberate device only to whip up audience interest, but just utter unprofessionalism on the part of newscasters. This disparity in the perception of the exaggeration devices, for instance, demonstrates that the encoding/decoding model proposed by Stuart Hall was accurate. That is even though the majority of the illiterates, semi-literates and literates saw the news as ―exaggerated‖, the illiterates knew this was just to ―spice up the news‖ thus the exaggerated stories were not as grave or serious as it was reported. But the literates especially took it serious and criticised it on that merit. This study also found that most of the proverbs, humour and similar devices used in the news were understood more by the illiterates than most literates and semi-literates did. This is again in conformity with the encoding/decoding model. That is this study found that proverbs, humour, hedges, evasions and pre-sequences and the style of news presentation was understood by the audience, but it was understood more by the illiterates and semi-literates than the literates. Finally, this study has found that news room practices of news gathering, preparation and presentation did not follow NMC ―Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting‖. This is because the news translations from English to Akan guidelines as well as other guidelines proposed were not being adhered to by Adom FM. But it does not mean that the social responsibility theory, one of the theories on which this study was founded is flawed. Essentially, the social responsibility theory proposed that the media, along with their myriad of activities must ensure that society is bettered or improved in some way.

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Even though Adom FM may be flaunting International Standards of news reportage, gathering and preparation, it is serving other beneficial purposes such as keeping the vast illiterate population informed on key social, economic and political issues both at home and abroad in an interesting way. But in the same light, this study observed that the audience wanted a slight modification of the status quo to meet international standards of professionalism in news reporting without taking out the all important ―Africaness‖ of Akan radio news presentation—this will invariably even make it more socially responsible.

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CHAPTER FIVE 5.0 Summary To enhance media pluralism and diversity, there must be a platform for Ghanaian audiences to participate in national dialogue, but also to enable them make sense of events around them through indigenized programmes like Akan news so they can make informed decisions and choices. This is more the case considering that Ghana has a high illiteracy rate – meaning an even higher rate of the use of local language in social transactions. Of the six main Ghanaian languages: Akan, Ewe, Ga, Nzema, Dagbani and Hausa, first used on radio, Akan language seems to be the most predominantly used in local radio across the country today. But by text-book/international journalism standards, use of proverbs, humour and similar devices is a digression. Broadly, this work studied the effectiveness of Akan radio news presentation in the use of such devices. Samples were from two main populations, audience of Adom FM and members of the news staff of Adom FM. Important findings include the effectiveness of Akan radio news presentation with its peculiar devices in informing audience about key social, economic local and global issues. But additionally, it made the news listening process for audience less difficult. Suggestions about what should change fell within three thematic categories: negotiated, radicals and conservative. The negotiated category, proposing strategic adjustments to cater for the ―unethical‖ and ―unprofessional‖, ethnocentric and other problems that may arise—but which

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will still appeal to the audience, and make news-listening interesting—emerged as the majority view across all three categories of respondents. 5.1 Conclusion This study acknowledges the importance of Akan radio news presentation with humour, proverbs and other similar devices in drawing-in mostly the illiterate majority of people in the city of Accra to radio but also to serve as a source of informing them about goings-on around the world. However, it suggests a toning down on the use of humour, exaggeration and proverbs for particular stories, and also the repetition of some proverbs to better facilitate the aim of instilling knowledge of the Akan traditional proverbs in the listener. It also proposes a review of the NMC Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting to take note of the fact that irrespective of the non-conformity of Akan radio news presentation by international standards, it serves very useful purposes and it is essentially very effective. Certain guidelines, like the exclusion of proverbs and humour in news, should be reconsidered since these appeal greatly to the audiences and serves the purpose of news and mass media. 5.2 Suggestions for further study This study took a look at only one of the programmes on an Akan-language oriented radio stations—the news. Subsequent studies should focus on other programmes like entertainment programmes and current affairs programmes and consider how the use of typical Akan traditional interactional characteristics on these programmes is impacting the audience.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY BOOKS (Published) Ansah P.A.V (1985), Golden Jubilee Lectures. Tema Press. Babbie, E (2001), The Practice of Social Research. Wadsworth Publishing Company; Belmont. Baran S. & Davis D. (2003), Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Forment and Future. Nelson Thomson Learning. Victoria. Boyd A., (1993), Broadcast Journalism: Techniques of Radio and TV News. Focal Press; Oxford. United Kingdom. Itule D.B., & Anderson D.A., (2007), News Writing and Reporting for Today’s Media. McGraw Hill; London.

Kerlinger, F. N. (1979). Behavioral research: A conceptual approach. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston McKane A., (2006), News Writing. Sage Publications; London. McQuail D., (2000), Mass Communication Theory. Sage Publications; London. McQuail et al (2005), Communication Theory and Research: an EJC Publications. New Delhi. Merrigan G. & Huston C. (2004), Communication Research Methods. Wadsworth Publishing Company; Belmont. Anthology. Sage

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Obeng S.G., (2003), Language in African Social Interaction: Indirectness in Akan Communication. Nova Science Publishers Inc.

Shrivastava K.M., (2003), News Reporting and Editing. Sterling Publishers; New Delhi.

Smith M.J (1988), Contemporary Communication Research Methods. Wadsworth Publishing Company; Belmont

Wiersma, W. (1995). Research methods in education: An introduction (Sixth edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (Unpublished) Arthur C., (2000), Language Use in FM Radio Broadcasting. (Project Work). University of Ghana Legon. Dornoo J (2008), Use of Twi on Peace FM and its Impact in terms of Patronage: A Case Study of Listeners in Lapaz New Market Community. ( A project work presented to the Ghana Institute of Journalism). Nukpeza R (2007), Poor Performance of News Reporting on our Radio Stations: A Case Study of Rite FM.(A dissertation presented to the Ghana Institute of Journalism) Owusu E (2009), The Use of Local Language in Radio Broadcasting And Freedom of Speech. (A Project Work presented to the Ghana Institute of Journalism). Vandyk A.J., (2001), An Assessment of the Performance of Adom FM: A Case Study of Residents of Tema Community 2. (Project Work). University of Ghana School of Communication Studies, Legon

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PERIODICALS Electoral Commission (2008) ―Ayawaso Central Voter’s Register: St. Michael‘s College Polling Station‖ National Media Commission (July, 2009) ―Guidelines for Local Language Broadcasting‖ National Media Commission (NMC) (2009) ―National Media Policy‖. INTERNET SOURCES http//www.ghanaweb.com/articles/genesisofbroadcastinginghana/ Morgan M, (2006) Press Freedom a Reality in Ghana [Accessed 10th July, 2009] From http://www.thestatesmanonline.com/pages/news_detail.php?section=1&newsid=1131 Ogbondah C (2004), ―Democratization And The Media In West Africa: An Analysis Of Recent Constitutional And Legislative Reforms For Press Freedom In Ghana and Nigeria,‖ West Africa Review: Issue 6, 2004. [Accessed 3rd June 2010] From http://www.westafricareview.com/issue6/ogbondah.html

Otoo E.A., Whyatt D.J., Ite U.E., (2006), Quantifying Urban Growth in Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA), Ghana and Exploring Causal Mechanisms. [Assessed 03 January, 2010] From http:// www.fig.net

UNESCO Institute of Statistics, National Functional Literacy Programme (Ghana). [Assessed 3rd January, 2010]. From http://www.unesco.org

TELEVISION PROGRAMME Curtis H (Reporter). (2003, August, 15). TV3 Evening News [7 ‗O‘ Clock News Programme] Greater Accra Region: Free to Air Broadcasting

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Appendices QUESTIONNAIRE My name is George Nyavor. I am a final year Degree student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). I am conducting a study on the “Impact of Akan Radio News Presentation on the Audience of Adom FM”. Please answer the following to help my study. Your confidentiality is assured so feel free to express your thoughts accordingly. PERSONAL DATA 1. Pleas tick your sex: MALE 2. Please tick your age range 18-25 26-33 34-41 42-49 50-57 58-65 FEMALE

3. What is your educational level BASIC (JHS) T ERTIARY Other (please specify): ………………………………………………. SECONDARY (SHS, TECHNICAL ETC)

Please state your current occupation: ……………………………………………………………………………………

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THE

FOLLOWING

QUESTIONS

CONCERN

HOW

NEWS

IS

GATHERED,

PROCESSED AND PRESENTED ON ADOM FM 4. Please tick your position at Adom FM? Reporter Newsreader Editor Other (Please specify)………………….………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………… 5. Please briefly explain how news translation from English to Akan is done on Adom FM? ……………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………..………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………….. 6. What language does a reporter at Adom FM gather news for processing and presentation? In English In Akan Other Please specify……………………………………………………

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7. Do news readers on Adom Kaseibo read news written in Akan language? Yes Other No (please explain)………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………. 8. Do news readers use proverbs, humour and similar devices on Adom Kaseibo on their own accord? Yes No

If No please briefly explain how this is done: ……………………………………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………………………………………………… 9. Please briefly explain why it is important to present news with proverbs, humour, drama and exaggerations on Adom Kaseibo: …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… I AM SINCERELY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR TIME AND HELP

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Interview Guide for respondents of 1st Yarboi Link Kototbabi.
To all interviewees: Thank you for agreeing to participate in this study. My goal is to learn more about how useful Akan radio news presentation has been so far in their use of proverbs, humour, circumlocution and pre-sequences. Please feel free to say anything since whatever you say to me during this interview process will stay between us and never be used against you by any person. SECTION A—PERSONAL DATA OF RESPONDENT 1. Please tell me which of these ranges your age fall into 18-25…….. 26-33……… 34-41……… 42-49………. 50-57……….. 58-65…….. 2. Please what is your educational level? Basic….. Secondary/Technical… Tertiary and above…

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other…. 3. Please what is your current occupation?........................................... SECTION B—THE SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS CONCERN RESPEONDENT’S PERCEPTION OF THE STYLE OF AKAN RADIO NEWS PRESENTATION ON ADOM FM 4. First tell me if you understand any of the Akan dialects. 5. Which programmes do you listen to on Adom FM? 6. Do you listen to Adom Kaseibo? 7. (if yes) How often do you listen to this programme? Do you listen every day, at least 3 times a week, once a week or thrice a month? (But if ‗no‘ I terminate). 8. Which of these words I‘m about to mention can describe your perception of Adom Kaseibo: Informative….. Entertaining…… Informative and Entertaining…. Uninformative but entertaining…. Please go ahead if you‘d want to give your own description as well .….. 9. Please tell me if Akan radio news presented with humour, exaggeration and indirect expressions helps you understand content of the news…………….

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SECTION C—THE SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS CONCERN HOW RESPONDENT UNDERSTAND ISSUES IN ADOM FM NEWS 10. I will mention a list of words. Please tell me if they fit your description of how news is presented on Adom FM Exaggerated… Factual….. Made less important… Humourous…. Humourous but Factual…. Would you like to give your own description? 11. Now I would want you to think about a news story about rape, political corruption, gender abuse and child labour you heard on Adom FM. Please tell me in your own words how this story was presented. 12. (if yes) Did the use of proverbs, humour, circumlocution and pre-sequences in that news story help you understand the issues? SECTION D—THE SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS CONCERN RESPONDENT’S

UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROVERBS, HUMOUR AND OTHERS USED IN ADOM FM NEWS BULLETINS 13. Do you always understand the content of news on Adom FM? 14. Do you always understand the proverbs, humour and innuendos used in Adom FM news?

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15.

Do you find the use of proverbs, humour, innuendos and dramatization appealing in

news presentation? (Ask reason for that answer) 16. Please tell me briefly what you would like to see done differently on Adom FM news presentations if any exist.

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