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Radio has changed why people vote from handsomeness to policy viability – Media Foundation for West Africa

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Accommodating the changing tides of Ghanaian politics, the role of radio has undergone significant transformation, Kweku Krobea Asante, Programme Officer for the Media Foundation for West Africa disclosed.

According to him, radio during elections, focuses on policies and key issues in the country which helps citizens to know the policies of the political parties or candidates in order to make their decisions on who to vote for.

“We work in west Africa and sometimes you compare the quality of conversations here in Ghana to other places going to the polls, you ask them, have you seen the manifesto of a supposed political party or candidate? You don’t find the same thing in other countries in West Africa,” he said.

Talking with Helen Appiah-Ampofo on the 3FM Sunrise Morning Show in celebration of World Radio Day 2024 on February 13, Mr Asante reflected on the historical departure from traditional voting considerations, such as ethnicity and appearance, towards more policy-oriented discussions.

“Previously you will hear people talking about ethnicity, how handsome the person looks like, how he connects to them, I won’t say they are entirely out of the equation. But for some people maybe they still come up, but today every election time we are faced with policies, key focus areas,” he stressed.

However, amidst the proliferation of digital media and citizen journalism, Asante raised concerns about the spread of misinformation and disinformation. He stressed the importance of traditional media outlets, particularly radio, in providing accurate information and serving as a trusted source for citizens.

“Even in the proliferation of other media sources, radio must stand to be that platform that people can come to for accurate information,” Mr Asante emphasized.

With Ghana gearing up for another election cycle, Asante underscored the vital role of radio in facilitating citizen engagement and decision-making. “This is an election year, we must use radio to facilitate the citizen’s decision process,” he asserted.

In conclusion, Asante’s insights shed light on the dynamic interplay between media and politics in Ghana, emphasizing the need for accurate information dissemination and the continued relevance of radio as a conduit for democratic discourse. As the nation prepares for the upcoming elections, the role of media, guided by principles of accuracy and transparency, remains indispensable in shaping the democratic process.

The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating.’

It underscores radio’s ongoing evolution in a digital age.

By Joselyn Kafui Nyazi

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