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Radio in Accra: A confluence of National and Traditional Representations.
Unformatted Document Text:  Radio in Accra 8 use of traditional forms of representation, but this was not the case. Government imposed media restrictions, while Ghanaian media practitioners pushed for an enabling social, economic and political environment that allows for the evolution of a media culture that reflects national identity. Commenting on the social, political and economic conditions of Ghana in the late 1980s, Adu Boahen indicated the need for a true Ghanaian system, one with the free flow of information of all sorts, free and public discussions of national issues, and the free and frank flow of views at all levels of society. He pointed out the need to break the so-called “culture of silence,” by freeing the mass media to do business without government limitations and by allowing freedom of association (p.64). Thus the deregulation of the broadcasting industry in the mid 1990s facilitated the desired change in media practice and the culture of radio content production. The result of this change is the transformation of forms of representation using conceptual and literal ethnic artistic signs and symbols to present and discuss issues of national importance. This phenomenon in radio programming has led to the resurgence of the use of Akan forms of representation in the expression of Ghanaian national issues and identity. This change in media culture has happened as an orchestrated action on the part of the forces of change, and an involuntary action of deregulation on the part of the ruling Government at the time. The size of the Akan population, and the comprehensible nature of the Akan, language, combined with the complex social and political conditions in Ghana to change radio programming. This study examines this change focusing on private radio practice in Accra, using examples of early radio programs and popular radio presenters to illustrate this phenomenon.

Authors: Boateng, Kwasi.
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Radio in Accra 8
use of traditional forms of representation, but this was not the case. Government imposed media
restrictions, while Ghanaian media practitioners pushed for an enabling social, economic and
political environment that allows for the evolution of a media culture that reflects national
identity. Commenting on the social, political and economic conditions of Ghana in the late 1980s,
Adu Boahen indicated the need for a true Ghanaian system, one with the free flow of information
of all sorts, free and public discussions of national issues, and the free and frank flow of views at
all levels of society. He pointed out the need to break the so-called “culture of silence,” by
freeing the mass media to do business without government limitations and by allowing freedom
of association (p.64).
Thus the deregulation of the broadcasting industry in the mid 1990s facilitated the desired
change in media practice and the culture of radio content production. The result of this change is
the transformation of forms of representation using conceptual and literal ethnic artistic signs and
symbols to present and discuss issues of national importance. This phenomenon in radio
programming has led to the resurgence of the use of Akan forms of representation in the
expression of Ghanaian national issues and identity. This change in media culture has happened
as an orchestrated action on the part of the forces of change, and an involuntary action of
deregulation on the part of the ruling Government at the time.
The size of the Akan population, and the comprehensible nature of the Akan, language,
combined with the complex social and political conditions in Ghana to change radio
programming. This study examines this change focusing on private radio practice in Accra, using
examples of early radio programs and popular radio presenters to illustrate this phenomenon.


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