NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PETITION: A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF THE DAILY GRAPHIC

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ABSTRACT

This study is a quantitative content analysis of the state-owned Daily Graphic‟s coverage of the 2012 presidential election petition at the Supreme Court of Ghana. The principal goal of the study was to determine the level of prominence and fairness attached to the coverage of the election petition by the newspaper. The study also sought to determine the dominant tone, whether positive, negative or neutral with which the newspaper covered the election petition.

A constructed week was used to sample editions of the Daily Graphic within the study period (April to August, 2013) for analysis. There were 219 stories identified by headlines where the election petition or the names of the main parties involved in the petition was mention. The study utilized the framing theory as the bases for the analysis of the stories.

Generally, stories on election petition were classified to be prominent in terms of the size of story  and headline as well as story enhancement and the article type. However, the Daily Graphic could have done better in terms of placement of election petition stories since most of the stories on the election petition were not found on the front pages of the newspaper but  on the other” pages. The findings show that the Daily Graphic was fair with its coverage of the 2012 presidential election petition. Most of the stories had either positive or neutral tone. However, the findings of the study indicated that the dominant tone of the election petition was positive.