Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.801326
Title: Propaganda censorship and the media : an ethnographic study of Ghana Dagbon chieftaincy crisis, 2002-2019
Author: Mahama, Seth Sayibu
Awarding Body: Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2020
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Abstract:
This thesis investigates the use of propaganda and censorship by Ghana’s governments, the intelligence community and the military in the Ghana media reportage of Ghana’s Dagbon chieftaincy conflict reignited by the murder of the Dagbon king, Yaa Naa Yakubu II on March 27, 2002. Even though the conflict started in 1948, Ghana’s Supreme Court had settled it in 1986 but dissatisfied with the ruling, Abudu fighters attacked the Yaa Naa’s palace and murdered him under circumstances described by the media as ‘questionable intelligence failure’. This led many to suspect it was politically motivated. There is scholarship on government and military propaganda and censorship of the media in conflict times in Africa and Ghana but no scholarship on government, military and intelligence community propaganda and censorship in chieftaincy conflict times in Africa and Ghana, including the Dagbon chieftaincy conflict. This thesis fills that gap by investigating how propaganda techniques, including lies, deception and denial and censorship techniques like pooling and denial of access, intimidation and harassment were used against the media by Ghana’s governments, intelligence community and the military in the Ghana media reportage of the Dagbon conflict. The study investigates how the above techniques have contributed to the perpetuation of the conflict from 2002 to 2019. Using the qualitative design of interviews, official documents and newspapers’ sources coupled with participant observation, autoethnography and reflexivity and using thematic and textual analysis, the study finds that governments, military and intelligence community propaganda and censorship played a large role and were partially responsible for the murder of the Yaa Naa and the perpetuation of the conflict. The study finds that media bias that largely emanated, especially from peace insensitive journalism and over reliance on official /elite sources by Ghana’s Daily Graphic newspaper and Ghana News Agency remained a threat to efforts at closing-down the conflict. Part of the study’s contribution to knowledge is that beyond the traditional method of intimidation, harassment and threats of journalists by governments, the military and the intelligence community to secure favourable media coverage, as chronicled by Western scholars of media and conflict, politicians in the Dagbon conflict used physical violence as technique of censorship and propaganda where political party and government ‘foot soldiers’ were unleashed onto critical media personnel. The study draws attention of Western scholars of media war and conflict to a reverse of the Rwandan situation in Ghana’s Dagbon, where the Ghanaian media tried to stop the Dagbon conflict, but which efforts remain undocumented, unlike their Rwandan counterparts that fanned the conflict. The study is significant for scholars of media and conflict because it is the first study on government, the intelligence community and the military propaganda and censorship of the media in the reportage of chieftaincy conflicts in Africa and Ghana, including the Dagbon chieftaincy conflict. It is also the first comprehensive study on media reportage of chieftaincy conflicts in Ghana, including the Dagbon chieftaincy conflict.
Supervisor: Bakir, Vian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.801326  DOI: Not available
Keywords: dagbon ; chieftaincy ; propaganda ; media
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