A Linguistic Description of the Language of Ghanaian Newspapers: Implications for the Readability, Comprehensibility and Information Function of the Ghanaian Press

  • Modestus Fosu
Keywords: Ghanaian newspapers, language style, complexity, readability, information flow

Abstract

This paper investigates the readability and comprehensibility of English language newspapers in Ghana. It attempts a structural description of the language of the newspapers to explore implications thereof regarding the information function of the Ghanaian press. The study employed a research design that triangulated methods and findings from corpus linguistics and readability studies using front-page stories of four influential national newspapers of the country. The research established that the language used to communicate socio-political news to readers is complex and could be potentially difficult for many readers. The significant implication is that the newspapers may be largely ineffective in transmitting information directly to a wide spectrum of readers for socio-political benefits. This could mean, importantly, that the press may not be performing its information function well. Consequently, the paper makes a case for the press to use relatively readable and comprehensible language to broaden direct access to newspaper messages in the country.
Published
2016-12-27
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2026-6596