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GTV, Uniq FM was biased towards NPP in pre-2020 election coverage – EU report

The European Union Observation Missions’ (EOMs) has in its final report on the December 7, 2021 election accused state broadcaster, GTV of being biased in favour of the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its coverage ahead of the polls.

Per the report, 26.2 percent of airtime on election-related news programmes focused on activities of the NPP while 15.8 percent was allocated to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

It further said the state broadcaster gave more audience to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo juxtaposed to that of the 2020 NDC presidential candidate.

This biased, according to the report, made uneven playing grounds for the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo and to his main challenger, John Mahama though stressing the election was ”free and fair”.

“GBC, overall, provided fair opportunity to all political contestants through various programmes aired by both GTV and Uniiq FM.74 Nevertheless, the EU EOM’s media monitoring findings show that GTV favoured the NPP by allocating it 26.2 per cent of airtime in its election-related news and programmes, compared to 15.8 per cent allocated to the NDC. Furthermore, the NPP and its presidential candidate benefited from extensive additional coverage on GTV (22.1 per cent of airtime) through news and live broadcasts of inaugurations and projects launched by the President or government representatives, often including campaign songs and messages. Focusing only on the coverage received by presidential candidates, the difference in airtime is slightly higher, with Nana Akufo-Addo receiving 33 per cent and John Mahama receiving 19.1 per cent.

Similarly, it was observed that state-owned radio station, Unique FM favoured the governing NPP in its coverage.

While the NPP got 34.2 percent of airtime on the election-related news, the umbrella family had 28.6 percent.

Also, according to the report, 11 percent of additional airtime was given to coverage of government inaugurations and projects.

General coverage

The European Union Observation Missions’ also said the media organisations covered the elections in a generally free environment although circumstances deteriorated aftermath of the election.

According to EUOMs, it recorded four cases of journalists being attacked and injured while covering collation procedures in the capital city.

Again, it observed a live interview of an NDC Parliamentary Candidate in the Central Region on Winneba-based Nyce FM being interrupted by armed military men.

In conclusion, the 80-member observer team said after monitoring 13 media outlets with nationwide reach including; Joy FM, UTV, GTV, Uniiq FM and Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times, Adom TV, TV3, Peace FM, Citi FM, The Chronicle and Daily Guide, it observed opportunity was also given to minor political parties to participate in election-related programmes.

 

By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Originalfmonline.com | Ghana

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