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Radio in Accra: A confluence of National and Traditional Representations.
Unformatted Document Text:  Radio in Accra 4 economic rights and privileges. In the context of this paper liberal politics or liberalism as a political principle refers to the initiative on the part of the Ghanaian political authority to adopt policies between the period of the late 1980s and mid 1990s, which allowed private media to operate broadcasting stations, which participated in the programming and the dissemination of electronic media content to the Ghanaian public. Liberalism emerged in Europe as an ideology of emancipation against the aristocracy, and it is often considered as having roots in the protestant traditions. Fukuyama (1992), Shin (1994), and Joseph (1997) asserted that liberal-democratic model of governance, has been one of the global phenomena of the 1990s. Undoubtedly Ghana participated in this global phenomenon, which impacted all sectors of the Ghanaian societies including the communications industry. This paper examines the radio industry in Ghana after policy changes in the first half of the 1990s. It discusses how traditional Akan forms of representations have assumed national significance as a result of new forms of programming and representations. And it indicates that changes in government policies in the media industry have led to the emergence of forms of representations, which exhibit the use of ethnic forms of symbols and images to express national culture and ideology. This article argues that this dynamic in representation is the result of the quest by Ghanaian media practitioners to evolve forms of representations in programming which reflect authentic Ghanaian cultural identity. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The establishment of “Radio Eye” a private radio station in1994 by a Ghanaian called Dr. Wreko Brobbey preceded the change in official broadcasting policy. He began private radio transmission tests without obtaining approval from the government. His radio station was shut down, but in 1995 the ruling government of NDC (National Democratic Congress) liberalized

Authors: Boateng, Kwasi.
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Radio in Accra 4
economic rights and privileges. In the context of this paper liberal politics or liberalism as a
political principle refers to the initiative on the part of the Ghanaian political authority to adopt
policies between the period of the late 1980s and mid 1990s, which allowed private media to
operate broadcasting stations, which participated in the programming and the dissemination of
electronic media content to the Ghanaian public. Liberalism emerged in Europe as an ideology of
emancipation against the aristocracy, and it is often considered as having roots in the protestant
traditions. Fukuyama (1992), Shin (1994), and Joseph (1997) asserted that liberal-democratic
model of governance, has been one of the global phenomena of the 1990s. Undoubtedly Ghana
participated in this global phenomenon, which impacted all sectors of the Ghanaian societies
including the communications industry.
This paper examines the radio industry in Ghana after policy changes in the first half of
the 1990s. It discusses how traditional Akan forms of representations have assumed national
significance as a result of new forms of programming and representations. And it indicates that
changes in government policies in the media industry have led to the emergence of forms of
representations, which exhibit the use of ethnic forms of symbols and images to express national
culture and ideology. This article argues that this dynamic in representation is the result of the
quest by Ghanaian media practitioners to evolve forms of representations in programming which
reflect authentic Ghanaian cultural identity.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The establishment of “Radio Eye” a private radio station in1994 by a Ghanaian called Dr.
Wreko Brobbey preceded the change in official broadcasting policy. He began private radio
transmission tests without obtaining approval from the government. His radio station was shut
down, but in 1995 the ruling government of NDC (National Democratic Congress) liberalized


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