Introduction. is being abused by both the ordinary citizen

Introduction. 2

Problem statement 2

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Research Aim and Objectives 2

The significance of the study. 2

Research question. 2

Literature Review.. 3

Methodology. 4

Data Collection Method. 5

Sampling Method. 5

References …………………………………………………………………………………6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

As a person born and raised in a country that pioneered freedom from colonialism and imperialism in sub-Saharan Africa, the political vibe in my country Ghana has groomed me in the affairs of politics at a tender age. My undergraduate courses which were in political science and economics made it incumbent upon me to get myself updated with current political and economic issues both locally and internationally. I have always been curious about endeavors that are carried out in politics in every part of the world, and it is no doubt why I buy into Aristotle’s   postulation of the ubiquity of politics which mean politics can be found everywhere irrespective of one’s predisposition. I have amassed a great deal of knowledge concerning the trend of politics in my country Ghana, and have realized certain anomalies which tend to tarnish the very fabric of our political discourses. The democracy of our country which gives the media freedom to exist and operate and also citizens the privilege to ventilate their grievance has turned into a battleground for insults. This social canker has motivated me to write a paper on the topic ‘Democracy and politics the of insults, the media factor’.

The media as the 4th estate of the realm plays a significant role in promoting democracy in Ghana; however, the opportunity created by the constitution   to enable people freely to ventilate their grievances in order words, freedom to express their views is being abused by both the ordinary citizen of the country and some prominent political leaders. They use the media as the barrel of a gun to shoot insults at one another all in the name of differences in the political party one support and other factors. Today television channels and newspapers are making fast money by cashing on the news in wrong sense and wrong way. In the race to become more popular and to make money, they have broken all the limits media must follow while serving to build a healthy and progressive society. They have no respect for the sentiments and ethics of the people and land whom they serve to, with their immense power to influence the masses they just make a judgment like a true dictator rather than a good advice of a true friend as they previously used to do. If it will be going to continue in the future, then we have a great cause to be worried.

Thomas Hobbes, a 17th-century political thinker could be right when he argued that, the absence of social control in a society was a recipe of chaos and anarchy (Beilharz, 2000). A regulated conduct is considered a healthy practice for the overall growth and development of any human society at any given time. One thing which is certain is that every society that has ever existed has recognized the need for laws. These laws may be unwritten, but even pre-industrial societies had rules to regulate the conduct of the citizenry (Gulliner, 1979). Regrettably, the seeming efforts made by Ghana to maintain peace and stability are steadily threatened by the democratic ethos of freedom of speech. The political landscape of the country has become a theater of most vitriolic insults especially from politicians and their cronies. The simple point is that the peace enjoined in the country has been taken for granted by many Ghanaians, culminating in the culture of violence. The position of the paper is that peace cannot be acquired automatically neither can it be implanted by any external body. It has to be primarily planted and nurtured by the people concerned. The paper posits that unless the democratic value of freedom of speech is regulated by its sister principle of responsibility/duty, the freedom of speech as enjoined in Ghana could breed a culture of violence and robbed the peace of the country. The paper, therefore, sought among others to examine the extent to which politics of insult, an offshoot of freedom of speech which is embedded in democracy, poses threat to the peace of Ghana. The paper is structured into four broad headings/sections. The first section is devoted to the introduction. Section two looks at the concepts; media, ‘democracy’ and ‘politics of insults’ as well as their interconnectedness.

 

 

 PROBLEM STATEMENT

The media as the 4th estate of the realm plays a significant role in promoting democracy in Ghana; however, the opportunity created by the constitution   to enable people freely to ventilate their grievances in order words, freedom to express their views is being abused by both the ordinary citizen of the country and some prominent political leaders. They use the media as the barrel of a gun to shoot insults at one another all in the name of differences in the political party one support and other factors. Today television channels and newspapers are making fast money by cashing on the news in wrong sense and wrong way. In the race to become more popular and to make money, they have broken all the limits media must follow while serving to build a healthy and progressive society. They have no respect for the sentiments and ethics of the people and land whom they serve to, with their immense power to influence the masses they just make a judgment like a true dictator rather than a good advice of a true friend as they previously used to do. If it will be going to continue in the future, then we have a great cause to be worried.

 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

       I.            To identify the various types of media used by Ghanaians.

    II.            To find out the effects of the media on Ghanaians.

 III.            Investigate the level or degree of effects (positive and negative).

IV.            To suggest ways of limiting politics of insults in the Ghanaian media.

 

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is hoped that the findings of the study will:

v Help the stakeholders and policymakers pass laws that will regulate the use of the mass media to discourage politics of insults.

v Contribute to existing literature on the impact of politics of insults

v Help the researcher in their further studies.

 

 

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In seeking the impact of the media in encouraging politics of insult, the following questions must be considered as a guide to the researcher:

v Which of the types of media do the people of Ghana mostly use? Why do they use this form of media and not others?

v How is the use of the media impacting on the citizens of Ghana?

v How often is the use of this media by these citizens?

v .Do these programs offered by the media have any educational or social benefits?

v What can be done to limit politics of insult and why

 

 

Literature Review

This aspect of the paper focuses on the explanation of the keywords relevant to the study. In this regard, media, democracy, and politics of insults have been discussed. The purpose is to fine-tune our understanding of these concepts and their implications as they manifest in our contemporary political lives.

Media

According to (Dictionary.com, 2017) media, like data, is the plural form of a word borrowed directly from Latin. The singular, medium, early developed the meaning “an intervening agency, means, or instrument” and was first applied to newspapers two centuries ago. In the 1920s media began to appear as a singular collective noun, sometimes with the plural Medias. This singular use is now common in the fields of mass communication and advertising, but it is not frequently found outside them: The media is (or are) not antibusiness. The media not being anti-business in my opinion means that it is an institution created for the purpose acquiring profit.

In retrospective, the media have gone through several metamorphoses over the years which has eventually bring forth a dichotomy between the tradition type of media conversant to most generations whilst a new type of media has also appeared in current time which is a complete upgrade from the traditional type of media.(David Holmes n.d.) Acknowledged that there is a new form of media experience that has brought has brought a major distinction between the old type of media (tradition media or the print media) and the new age of media. The new age of media according to him have been revolutionized by the internet and have taken a totally different approach in its modus operandi from the old media.

The historical distinction between the first age media and the second age media pointed out that, the first age media was centered and by centered he meant that, few people were in the position of speaking to the many with the first media, in terms of broadcast with less involvement of the general public. The first media was also predisposed to state control, thus private was somewhat absent in terms of dissemination of information to the general public. Then again the first age media was also an instrument of regimes of stratification and inequality. Ruling governments were able to propagate their ill agendas through a monopoly they enjoyed in controlling the media.

On the other hand, the second media age is decentered thus many can speak or communicate to a greater number of media consumers which are a complete paradigm shift from the first age media. It is a two-way communication system and goes back and fro between media providers and media consumers. It then again evades state control that is to say there is the absolute independence of the media to speak on social issues without control of the government and this enables individual participants to retain their individuality.

The major distinction is the first and second age of the media is the internet revolution which is according to (David Holmes n.d.) Was envisaged the eclipsing of the traditional broadcast media. But this point is quite relative rather absolute in my opinion since some people are still accustomed to the traditional form of media.

Moreover, the internet revolution can only be feasible depending on the level of advancement in technology in a specific country, the more advanced a country is in terms of technology, the higher its chance of embracing this new form of media.

(David Holmes n.d.) Then again opined that all the various celebrants of the second media age thesis tend to overlook continuities between the first and the second media age. He also asserted that the new form of media does not entirely wipe away the first media because both work interdependently to achieve a common goal.

According to Google search “electronic media is a communication characterized by the use of the technology, radio and computer and many others”. Also opened that electronic media is a media utilize electronic media is a media that utilize electronic and electronic optical energy for the end user (audience) to access content.

From the above search engines definition and Rogers, it can be deduced that any user of electronic media tends to issue out a command or vice versa which either of them the response to the instruction or command. Therefore user media at that moment seize to be meant by failing to achieve its intended purpose.

The electronic media as pointed by Alice and Janice (2007) reflects the evolution of a nation that has increasingly seized on the need and the desire for more seizure time. Such technological development offers the number cable channel we can select to the publication or the number of a broadcast.

From the authority one can infer that television more leads to addiction and by so doing, a young person can be influenced by negative images or messages it carries. Negative because most people who have come to terms with the fact that the television is an “idiot box”. On the other hand, this cannot be entirely true because through the television students can learn new vocabulary and acquire additional information which will be of immense benefit to one’s studies.

In the world Book Encyclopaedia 1995, states that a typical adult spends more time watching TV than doing anything else except sleeping and working. It takes time away from the other activities such as reading, conversation, social gathering, and exercise.

This can always disagree because the acquisition of new vocabulary and the act of reading is learned. Also, without television, students or adult will always find something to do. According to Wikipedia, Mass communication is the term used to describe the academic study of the various means by which individuals and entities relay information through mass media to large segments of the population at the same time. It is usually understood to relate to newspaper and magazine publishing, radio, television, and film, as these are used both for disseminating news and for advertising.  Mass communication technically refers to the process of transferring or transmitting a message to a large group of people — typically, this requires the use of some form of media such as newspapers, television, or the Internet. With all that being said, it can be seen clearly that the media plays an instrumental role in the daily lives of citizens in any every country and if they abuse such an enormous opportunity it will go a long way to bring destruction chaos at the end.

The role of the media will be non-existent without a constitutional provision that allows it to be functional. In an absolute democratic government, the media is given the mandate per the constitution to flex its muscles (in other words carry on with its activities) without any control of the government, to that effect democracy plays an integral role in the existence of the media in  a country that is built on its backs :

Democracy

Democracy is defined by Schmitter and Karl as a system of governance in which rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by citizens, acting indirectly through the competition and cooperation of their elected representatives.” (Schmitter and Karl 199:76)  Oquaye (2004) has pointed out that, democracy has become a prescriptive phenomenon. It stretches from the boundary of a goal, a reality to an illusion, resulting in the justification of any Kind of regimes ranging from Nazism, Fascism, Liberalism, among others, to be democratic. A healthy understanding of the term will be helpful in clearing any misapplication and a misconception held about it by people in recent times.

Democracy is derived from the word ‘demokratia’ from ‘demos the Greek word for people and ‘kratia’ which means power or strength. In its Greek derivative, democracy means the actual and direct participation of the citizens (excluding women, children, slaves, and foreigners) in Public affairs in the Greek city-state (Oquaye, 2004). In simple parlance, democracy in practice was not the rule of the people but the rule of the section of the people even if the section was the wide majority. The democratic process took in the form of physical gathering in which the citizens took decisions, made laws and delegated day to day management to the officials who reported or accounted to the assembly. Contemporary usage and practice of democracy which focuses on the rights and freedoms of the individuals as well as the collective interest of the state (common good), calls for re-thinking of democracy. It is against this background that Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy as government of the people, by the people and for the people has

gained much currency.

 

Politics of insults

Politics of insults has gained root in our political discourse, especially in Africa. However, the A serious challenge is that there is little literature or virtually none on the term ‘politics of insults’.  An understanding of the twain terms ‘politics’ and ‘insult’ is necessary to enable us arriving at a working definition. This in effect will also help us to analyze its implication of politics of insults on a given country. Politics affect every facet of our lives. As humans, regardless of our social and economic Status, as well as the geographical location in which we find ourselves, we engage in some sort of discussion on politics in our everyday lives. We concern ourselves with issues including local roads, schools, systems, the supply of water, elections, security of the environment, and news of war among others (Bluwey, 1993). The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (p.741) explains insult as a rude or an offensive remark or action to offend. The same dictionary (p.979) explains offend (the verb form) as to make someone angry or upset, unpleasant or to hurt feelings. The Cambridge Advanced Dictionary (664) equally defines insult as an offensive remark or action, or to do something that is rude or offensive. On the basis of the explanations above, politics of insults could be explained as a political climate or environment clamored with verbal expressions which are meant to attack, provoke and dehumanize a person especially political opponent, which has the tendency to elicit negative reaction or response in the form of verbal attack or physical violence. In this vein, all forms of provocative speech, hate speech, inciting speech and indecent words which tend to belittle, criminalize and condemn political opponents are conceptualized as politics of insults. Democracy is founded on the principle of mutual respect. In a situation where freedom of speech is used as a weapon to scandalous political opponents or inciting political supporters to act in a violent manner, is a first sign that democracy is at risk, a recipe for chaos and insecurity.

 

 

 

Methodology

This chapter will deal with the methodology. It will concern the collection of data, the method of data collection, the size of the population, sample and sample techniques used, type of data, research instruments used and how it is used, how the data obtained will be presented and analyzed.

 

 

 

Sample

The sampling technique to be used will be random and purposive sampling. Even though democracy and politics of insults help in realizing the true objectives of this research, the major attention is going to base on the media factor.

 Type of data

The source of data that will be used in the research will be secondary data. The secondary data will be collected from works of authorities on media, democracy, and politics of insults. Also, numerous accounts from radio stations, television stations, the print media and the internet are going to be taken into account in collecting data.

 

 

 

References

The Cambridge advanced dictionary.

The long man dictionary of contemporary English (p.741)

Wikipedia.com

Schmitter, Philippe C., and Terry Lynn Karl. 1991. “What Democracy Is. . .? And Is Not,” Journal of Democracy 2 #3 (summer), pp. 75-88

Blankson, I. A. & Murphy, P. D. (2007). Negotiating Democracy: I Democracies. SUNY Press.

David Holmes (2005). SAGE Publications Ltd 1 Oliver’s Yard 55 City Road London EC1Y 1SP

Ghanaian Media, Press Reference.

 

 

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