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Election 2020: Daily Graphic provided equitable coverage to NPP, NDC - EU Observers

BY: Kweku Zurek
Daily Graphic provided equitable coverage to NPP, NDC - EU Observers
Daily Graphic provided equitable coverage to NPP, NDC - EU Observers

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) Ghana has stated that the state-owned Daily Graphic provided equitable electoral coverage to the two main political parties during the December 7 general elections.

The EU EOM which has been present in Ghana since November 1, 2020, following an invitation from the Government and the Electoral Commission said the Daily Graphic produced by the Graphic Communications Group Limited allocated 29.9 per cent and 26.5 per cent of space to governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) respectively during electoral coverage.

The Mission led by Chief Observer, Javier Nart, a Member of the European Parliament (Spain) added that the state-owned Uniiq FM allocated 34.2 and 28.6 per cent of its airtime to NPP and NDC respectively.

However, the observer mission in a statement issued on December 9, 2020, also mentioned that both outlets devoted additional coverage of government inaugurations and projects to the incumbent New Patriotic Party administration.

"Equitable electoral coverage was provided by state-owned Uniiq FM (34.2 and 28.6 per cent of airtime allocated to NPP and NDC, respectively) and Daily Graphic (29.9 and 26.5 per cent of space allocated to NPP and NDC, respectively)," the statement said.

"However, both outlets devoted additional coverage of government inaugurations and projects to the NPP".

Other state media

The statement added that although the state broadcaster Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) provided a fair opportunity to all political contestants through various programmes, the EU EOM’s media monitoring found that state-owned GTV favoured the NPP by allocating it 26.2 per cent of airtime in its election-related news and programmes, compared to 15.8 per cent allocated to the NDC.

"Furthermore, the NPP and its presidential candidate benefited from extensive additional coverage on GTV (22.1 per cent of airtime) through news and live broadcasts of inaugurations and projects launched by the President or government representatives, often including campaign songs and messages".

Private media bias

Among the private media analysed by the EU EOM, Adom FM and Joy FM - Accra-based radio stations belonging to the Multimedia Group were found to have favoured the NDC in its election-related coverage, while United Television (UTV) of the Despite Group and private newspapers The Chronicle and Daily Guide showed biased coverage in favour of the NPP.