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The Goof, the Bad and the Ugly: "Indecent" Language Use on Ghanaian Radio

Margaret Ivy Amoakohene
Jemima Asabea Anderson
Jemima Opare-Henaku


Free speech and media freedoms were reinforced in Ghana with the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law in 2001. As a result, the citizen’s voice, which was hitherto muted, has grown louder as Ghanaians feel emboldened to contribute to national discourse in the media (especially local language radio programmes) without fear of the Criminal Libel Law. However, concerns have been raised about indecent language which has become pervasive in the Ghanaian media. This study examined indecent language on radio in Ghana. The study adopted the quantitative approach and analysed content data gathered from selected Ghanaian radio stations from May, 2016 to September, 2016. This was the period just before the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana. The study revealed six types of indecent language on Ghanaian radio and noted that insults and offensive comments ranked the highest, while expressions promoting divisiveness ranked lowest. 

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print ISSN: 2343-6530