Bias in Headlines: Evidence from Newspaper Coverage of the 2012 Ghana Presidential Election Petition
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 3, Issue 6, November 2015, Pages: 416-426
Received: Oct. 5, 2015;
Accepted: Oct. 23, 2015;
Published: Dec. 3, 2015
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Sarfo-Adu Kwasi, Department of Liberal Studies, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kumasi, Ghana
Amponsah Partey Faustina, Department of Liberal Studies, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kumasi, Ghana
Addo-Danquah Rosemary Gifty, Department of Liberal Studies, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kumasi, Ghana
A nagging concern that has emerged from media bias is its over-riding and manipulative power to influence public opinion and perception. When this bias is unleashed on consumers of news, it can have a devastating consequence on news production and consumption. Since most casual readers take their news from the headlines without reading the accompanying stories, it is more disturbing when newspapers, with their eyes on profit, tantalize the reading public with biased headlines. Against this background, a corpus of 80 headlines culled from four Ghanaian private newspapers was analysed to explore the infusion of bias in headlines in the coverage of the 2012 Ghana Presidential Election Petition. The results showed that a high percentage (81.5%) of the headlines was biased. It was also found out that influenced by which side of the petition the newspapers supported, they employed word choice as the main type of bias, using linguistic choices such as negative words, invectives and loaded words. The findings have implications for media objectivity and fair reportage devoid of ideological slant and judgmental opinions.
Amponsah Partey Faustina,
Addo-Danquah Rosemary Gifty,
Bias in Headlines: Evidence from Newspaper Coverage of the 2012 Ghana Presidential Election Petition, International Journal of Language and Linguistics.
Vol. 3, No. 6,
2015, pp. 416-426.
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