Journalistic ethics and elections news coverage in the Ghanaian press: a content analysis of two daily Ghanaian newspaper coverage of election 2020

Mohammed Faisal Amadu, Eliasu Mumuni and Ahmed Taufique Chentiba 2023. Journalistic ethics and elections news coverage in the Ghanaian press: a content analysis of two daily Ghanaian newspaper coverage of election 2020. Journal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society. 21 (1), pp. 63-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/jices-04-2022-0039

TitleJournalistic ethics and elections news coverage in the Ghanaian press: a content analysis of two daily Ghanaian newspaper coverage of election 2020
TypeJournal article
AuthorsMohammed Faisal Amadu, Eliasu Mumuni and Ahmed Taufique Chentiba
Abstract

Purpose
This study investigates the incidence of ethical violations in the Ghanaian press which has become topical in the wake of misinformation in a charged political atmosphere. Public interest institutions have questioned the unprofessional conduct of journalists covering election campaigns in recent years. This study content analysed political stories from two leading Ghanaian newspapers (Daily Graphic and Daily Guide) to determine the nature and extent of ethical violations, and to examine the level of prominence accorded to political news stories by the two dailies.

Design/methodology/approach
This paper relied on qualitative content analysis for data gathering and analysis. A total of 387 political news items published between 1 October and 30 November 2020, were analysed.

Findings
This study found infractions of various nature to Article 1 of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) codes of ethics, chief among which is the deliberate publications of news stories without cross-checking facts. Other infractions to Articles 17, 11, 6 and 5 of the GJA codes of ethics were observed. Political news coverage favours the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) than any other parties, with the two parties (NPP-NDC) given greater prominence and salience by the Ghanaian press.

Originality/value
The research makes a modest contribution to the growing concern of journalism ethics in an increasing ecology of fake news

JournalJournal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society
Journal citation21 (1), pp. 63-75
ISSN1477-996X
Year2023
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/jices-04-2022-0039
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-04-2022-0039
Publication dates
Published online11 Oct 2022
Published in print2023

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