General News of Tuesday, 14 March 2017
An independent media tracking agency has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo received high print media exposure in the month of February 2017.
According to Strategic Media Monitoring and Advocacy Institute (SMMAI), through its scientific news content analysis, 35 newspapers, comprising state and privately owned, published 364 news stories between February 1 and 28.
However, it said the high media coverage was characterised by mixed sentiments, positive, negative and neutral ratings.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Mr Tommy O’Dell, the President of SMMAI, and copied to the Ghana News Agency.
The institute, which is also into advocacy, training and consultancy services, said the 364 news stories analysed were thematically grouped under 13 headlines.
They were; Security, Campaign Promises Fulfilled, International Relations, Governance, Appointments, Economy, Energy, Health, Citizen Support, Religion, Agriculture, Development and the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
However, among the top five thematic headlines, the SONA received the highest print media coverage of 68 news stories, followed closely by Security with 63, Campaign Promises Fulfilled; 49, International Relations; 37, Governance; 36 and Appointments; 33 news stories.
According to the sentiment ratings of the president’s print media visibility during the month under study, he received 185 positive, 130 negative and 49 neutral sentiments.
However, the statement said, the institute’s Presidential Image Score Card ratings, despite the high positive sentiments, also recorded excessively high negative ratings, bearing in mind the fact that it was all within his first month in office.
“The relevance of such a study is in the fact that how a President is portrayed in the media indelibly helps to construct and literally create the President’s public image or perceived character narrative among citizens and such impressions measured, over a longer period of time, determines the general public confidence in our key institutions of governance,” it said. The statement said those then equally had far reaching consequences on the president’s likely performance in any subsequent elections, the country’s image internationally and the nation’s accruing ability to even attract or retain foreign direct investments.
“Clearly, the President had made optimum relevance out of the few international travels and diplomatic interactions with foreign dignitaries within the first two months of his tenure in which he scored 27 positive ratings out of 37 news stories, with just a single negative sentiment rating,” it said.
The SMMAI, however, commended the Presidency for the strong showing in relation to international relations within the period under review.