The media in Ghana lack personal initiative and commitment in covering transparency and accountability issues, a recent study by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has established.
The study which is a baseline report on the level and quality of media coverage of transparency and accountability (T&A) issues in Ghana found that a significant number of stories on transparency and accountability are merely covered in routine manner rather than through enterprise and industrious efforts.
The study monitored a total of 1,975 stories across some selected influential media outlets in Ghana, and only 631 (32%) of the stories focused on transparency and accountability issues. Out of the 631 stories that focused on T&A issues, 418 representing 66% of the stories were routinely sourced. Thus, nearly 7 out of 10 stories sampled showed the media sourced information for the stories from already-made news outlets like press releases, coverage of press conferences and events, news agencies and from other media sources (intermedia).
Additionally, out of the 631 stories that focused on T&A issues, only 83 (13%) were produced through enterprise journalism. This means that, just a little over 1 out of 10 stories were produced through journalists’ or reporters’ own initiative or inventiveness. The remaining 130 (21%) stories were either a combination (enterprise and routine sources) or the sources to the stories were not clearly stated in the news.