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Radio in Accra: A confluence of National and Traditional Representations.
Unformatted Document Text:  Radio in Accra 17 democratic demands of making information accessible to the public. Consequently, the media won an institutionalized influence over government through the instrument of law, and radio and all other electronic media function today as the true arena of public discussions in Ghana. Public opinion refers to the tasks of criticism and control that public bodies of citizens use informally and formally. Public opinion can by definition come into existence only when a reasoning public is presupposed (Harbermas). It is not fully explained what Habermas meant by a reasoning public. Using this description in relation to the listening audience of the Ghanaian radio, it raises certain concerns: that of whether the audience in Ghana is reasoning one. The response is mixed, in that, certainly the audience reason, but the level of reasoning sophistication needs to be determined through audience research. This is because sensationalism is creeping into the delivery of content. And many are those who think majority of the Ghanaian audience are credulous and less sophisticated. This scenario prepares the ground for media scholars interested in programming and audience behavior to research into the various activities of the media. This will help create a profile for audience in Ghana. Such research would be beneficial to media practitioners, especially in their decision making exercises in management and content creation and programming. Despite the use of traditional symbols in the presentation of programs in some radio programs in Accra, it should be understood that the Ghanaian public true to the principles of the public sphere as indicated by Habermas, no longer refers to the ‘representative’ court of a prince endowed with authority, but rather to an institution regulated according to competence (Harbermas). Private radio has become an institution of the public; it is effective in the promotion of public discussion. And is no longer an organ for the spreading of news, and for

Authors: Boateng, Kwasi.
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Radio in Accra 17
democratic demands of making information accessible to the public. Consequently, the media
won an institutionalized influence over government through the instrument of law, and radio and
all other electronic media function today as the true arena of public discussions in Ghana.
Public opinion refers to the tasks of criticism and control that public bodies of citizens
use informally and formally. Public opinion can by definition come into existence only when a
reasoning public is presupposed (Harbermas). It is not fully explained what Habermas meant by
a reasoning public. Using this description in relation to the listening audience of the Ghanaian
radio, it raises certain concerns: that of whether the audience in Ghana is reasoning one. The
response is mixed, in that, certainly the audience reason, but the level of reasoning sophistication
needs to be determined through audience research. This is because sensationalism is creeping
into the delivery of content. And many are those who think majority of the Ghanaian audience
are credulous and less sophisticated. This scenario prepares the ground for media scholars
interested in programming and audience behavior to research into the various activities of the
media. This will help create a profile for audience in Ghana. Such research would be beneficial
to media practitioners, especially in their decision making exercises in management and content
creation and programming.
Despite the use of traditional symbols in the presentation of programs in some radio
programs in Accra, it should be understood that the Ghanaian public true to the principles of the
public sphere as indicated by Habermas, no longer refers to the ‘representative’ court of a prince
endowed with authority, but rather to an institution regulated according to competence
(Harbermas). Private radio has become an institution of the public; it is effective in the
promotion of public discussion. And is no longer an organ for the spreading of news, and for


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