PRESS COVERAGE OF THE JUDGMENT DEBTS COMMISSION PROCEEDINGS: A CONTENTANALYSIS OF THE DAILY GRAPHIC

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ABSTRACT

The study is a quantitative content analysis of the coverage of the proceedings of the Judgment Debts Commission by the Daily Graphic newspaper. The Commission was set up by President John Dramani Mahama to inquire into payments made from public funds for and on behalf of the state arising from judgment debts, arbitration awards, negotiated settlements and related processes. The study had the purpose of determining the news worthiness of, and the frames given to the proceedings of the Commission by the press coverage. To this end, the framing theory and news worthy theory were used for the study.

The findings are that by adopting the thematic frame, the Daily Graphic focused on the facts and backgrounds that led to the payments of the monies. The Daily Graphic also gave the Judgment Debts Commission proceedings attention with respect to comprehensive coverage of the Commission‟s sittings. The challenge of Daily Graphic’s has to do with the minimal prominence given with respect to placement of news stories in the inside pages of the Daily Graphic and the small page size often dedicated to the proceedings of the Judgment Debts Commission.