GII Commends State-Owned Media For Fair Play

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) on Thursday commended the State-owned media for their efforts in meeting the constitutional requirements for equal and same access to the media for political parties and flagbearers. Presenting a report on: “Abuse of incumbency and pre-election political corruption in the up-coming elections,” Mr Vitus A. Azeem, GII Executive Director, said the document clearly showed that in some instances, the State-owned media provided more space and coverage for political parties other than the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the ruling party, or its flagbearer. It said available statistics indicates that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the flagbearer of the main opposition, New Patriotic Party (NPP), recorded the highest news share of 51 per cent in May and 49 per cent in June. Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, flagbearer of the Progressive People's Party (PPP) followed with 22 per cent in May, and 26 per cent in June; Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster, flagbearer of the Convention People's Party (CPP), recorded 16 per cent in May and June, and the NDC flagbearer the late President John Evans Atta Mills, recorded six per cent in May and five per cent in June. Mr Azeem announced these at the launch of a report on Abuse of Incumbency and Pro-Election Political Corruption in Ghana for May and June, conducted by GII in collaboration with Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), in Accra. The project is to monitor and expose the extent of both the occurrence and variety, of abuse of incumbency and pre-election political corruption in Ghana, as a tool for promoting clean and fair elections in December this year. It is focused on selected 30 constituencies across the 10 regions of Ghana and also on some State-owned media. On space allotment in the State-owned media, the report stated that Dr Sakara Foster recorded the highest space of 49 per cent; late President Mills recorded 22 per cent; Nana Akufo-Addo had 16 per cent; and Dr Nduom 13 per cent. In terms of air time, the report revealed that Ghana Television gave an equal share of 49 per cent to Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr Nduom in June. With the print media, the Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times, the Spectator and GTV gave the NDC a total of 41.6 per cent in May and 42.3 per cent in June. The NPP was allotted 26 per cent in May and 23 per cent in June; the PPP received 10.6 per cent in May and 9.6 per cent in June; and CPP 13 per cent in May and 7.6 per cent in June. The report said the Spectator gave the NDC 60 per cent news share in May and 50 per cent in June; NPP had 40 per cent in May and 33 per cent in June; and the PPP 17 per cent in June only. The Daily Graphic gave 49 per cent to the NDC in May; 21 per cent to NPP; CPP 12.6 per cent; PPP 9.5 per cent; Peoples National Convention (PNC) 4.7 per cent; Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) 1.5 per cent; and Independent Popular Party (IPP) 1.5 per cent. The Ghanaian Times allotted to the NPP the highest news share of 48 per cent in May; 36 per cent to NDC; the CPP 12 per cent; and the PPP four per cent. It said GTV in May gave the NDC a total of 31 per cent; and NPP 18 per cent; and in June NDC recorded 27 per cent; NPP 20 per cent CPP 13 per cent and 6.6 per cent each to PPP and PNC. Mr Azeem explained that the project was to monitor and expose the extent of both the occurrence and variety, of abuse of incumbency and pre-election political party corruption in Ghana, as a tool for promoting clean and fair elections in Election 2012. The project was being funded by STAR-Ghana, a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism (Funded by DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID) to increase the influence of civil society and Parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of Ghana’s government, traditional authorities and the private sector. It was launched by Mr Justice Francis Emile Short, former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) while Mrs Florence Dennis, GACC Executive Secretary and Mr Kojo Asante Senior Research Officer of CDD-Ghana represented their institutions.