When we first arrived into Accra, Ghana we stayed at a hotel and the next morning I saw our Professor Dr. Abaidoo reading a newspaper. At the time I really did not focus on the name of the paper or any details within the newspaper. My only interest was the front cover about the US winning their match in the soccer game. After reading the section I put the paper down and did not notice another newspaper until our weekend field trip to TaMale, Ghana. There I would find many newspapers in the front lobby by different companies. Dr. Abaidoo explained to me the two most reliable newspapers and how I should take a look at them, which are the Daily Graphic and the Times. I looked over the Daily Graphic and notice this newspaper covered issues not just happening in Ghana but in others countries in Africa and aboard. One that really caught my attention was the economic crisis in Greece. I thought this reminds me of the USA Today.
In our stay in TaMale I was watching a program that looked like a news stations on television,where a government official was discussing how the government is enforcing a tax fee to watch television. In the US we have cable companies that provide television services that require a monthly fee. Here in Ghana they pay a onetime purchase fee of 200 cedi for the satellite dish. However, starting next month a tax fee of 30 cedi per year per television set will have to be paid in order to watch television in Ghana. 30 cedi is equal to about $8.00 US dollars. My comment to Dr. Abaidoo and our Program Tour Counselor from University of Cape Coast was “If all I had to pay was $8.00 a year I welcome that.” Quickly I had to retract my statement, because for the average family that can be quite expensive, especially if they have more than one television in their home.
Mass media comes in different forms here in Ghana, via television, newspapers, radio, billboards, and Internet. However, WiFi services are really hard to find. There are no cafés or fast food restaurant to use WiFi. I have only found that if you stay at one of the hotels, buy a modem and pray it works, or are on campus WiFi is free. Just about everyone has a cell with Internet built in phone .
On the street and in the market areas you can hear the radios playing, some are playing music, but most of the radios being played have talk shows that discuss issues in the country. They are loud so that you can hear the radio for blocks. I had an opportunity to visit the radio station on the campus of UCC (University of Cape Coast). There I was able to speak with the station manager. He explained that most of the source of information that needs to be communicated to their listeners is done through the radio/television stations and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). In the start of the water and electricity crisis back in 2008 the government and the mass media outlets would work together to let the listeners know in what area, day, and time these services were going to be shut off. Unfortunately, communication stop so now the water and electricity services just shut off at any time. Mass media here in Ghana is used heavy to discuss and vent about issues this country faces daily. In my observations I’m recognizing that the mass media is not always reliable with communicating the important aspects of these issues. Or should I say the important facts of the issues are left out.