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Radio in Accra: A confluence of National and Traditional Representations.
Unformatted Document Text:  Radio in Accra 6 radio stations GBC 1 and 2 (Short Wave radio) and GBC FM which exited before 1994. Today Accra has about ten private radio stations. PRIVATE RADIO CHANGES MEDIA PRACTICE IN GHANA Private participation in the media industry in Ghana served as dynamic forces, which unleashed a vibrant and multifaceted media culture. Ghanaian radio before early 1990s was different. Prior to this period, the media had a colonialist approach to practice. It served merely as a mouthpiece of government, and reflected a limited aspect of the diverse culture of Ghana. And it sought to present a homogeneous Ghanaian society. Although this approach was still effective in the period after independence, it outlived its usefulness, because the social, political and economic issues which confronted Ghana were different. Ghanaians yearned to articulate issues of national importance in a manner that reflected their culture and traditional forms of representation (Blankson, 2000). And the emergence of private media helped create a media culture that caters to this need. Algan’s (Forthcoming) description of the media in Turkey is similar to what obtains in Ghana. Ghana’s media practice since the mid 1990s exhibits traditional forms of representations, which dissipates the idea of homogeneity 2 and uniform identity that characterized post- independence Ghanaian political thought and media practice. Before this period the media projected national identity and homogeneity by using mostly English to articulate and disseminate information. Even though Ghana’s ethnic diversity was recognized, it was mainly for the purpose of using local languages to inform non-English speaking Ghanaians about issues and programs of national interest. 2 Ideas that were championed by Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah and later Jerry John Rawlings until the he abandoned his dictatorial rule and adopted democratic party political ideology.

Authors: Boateng, Kwasi.
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background image
Radio in Accra 6
radio stations GBC 1 and 2 (Short Wave radio) and GBC FM which exited before 1994. Today
Accra has about ten private radio stations.
PRIVATE RADIO CHANGES MEDIA PRACTICE IN GHANA
Private participation in the media industry in Ghana served as dynamic forces, which
unleashed a vibrant and multifaceted media culture. Ghanaian radio before early 1990s was
different. Prior to this period, the media had a colonialist approach to practice. It served merely
as a mouthpiece of government, and reflected a limited aspect of the diverse culture of Ghana.
And it sought to present a homogeneous Ghanaian society. Although this approach was still
effective in the period after independence, it outlived its usefulness, because the social, political
and economic issues which confronted Ghana were different. Ghanaians yearned to articulate
issues of national importance in a manner that reflected their culture and traditional forms of
representation (Blankson, 2000). And the emergence of private media helped create a media
culture that caters to this need.
Algan’s (Forthcoming) description of the media in Turkey is similar to what obtains in
Ghana. Ghana’s media practice since the mid 1990s exhibits traditional forms of representations,
which dissipates the idea of homogeneity
2
and uniform identity that characterized post-
independence Ghanaian political thought and media practice. Before this period the media
projected national identity and homogeneity by using mostly English to articulate and
disseminate information. Even though Ghana’s ethnic diversity was recognized, it was mainly
for the purpose of using local languages to inform non-English speaking Ghanaians about issues
and programs of national interest.
2
Ideas that were championed by Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah and later Jerry John Rawlings until the he
abandoned his dictatorial rule and adopted democratic party political ideology.


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