Political Science Project Topics

The Role of the Media in Raising Awareness About Electoral Violence in Ghana; A Case Study of the 2016 or 2020 General Election

The Role of the Media in Raising Awareness About Electoral Violence in Ghana; A Case Study of the 2016 or 2020 General Election

The Role of the Media in Raising Awareness About Electoral Violence in Ghana; A Case Study of the 2016 or 2020 General Election

Chapter One

Objective of the study

The broad objective of this study is to investigate the role of the media in raising awareness about electoral violence in Ghana.

The following are the specific objectives of this study:

  • To enlighten the public and see how the mass media has influence the attacks of riggers.
  • To see if the mass media have a positive or negative influence on the people.
  • To see if the mass media are publicizing the riggers for their own interest, that is getting the attention of more viewers.
  • To examine the cause and effect of electoral violence on the people, government and the economy.
  • To see how the mass media has also assisted the government in fighting electoral violence.



Elections and Democratic Development  

To explore the question of how elections advance democracy in Africa, Lindberg (2006b, 146-148) identified six issue areas that connect repetitive elections to the improvement of civil liberties and/or democratic advancement in transitional societies. They include: citizens become voters, democratic “lock in” mechanisms, self-fulfilling prophecies, civic organizations, new roles for state institutions, and the role of the media.

Citizens Become Voters 

Repetitive elections, according to the theory, can introduce to the political sphere certain features of democratic values and principles. Lindberg (2006b, p. 146) identified principles such as “equal citizenship, the right to universal and equal suffrage, the right to choose between candidates and parties, freedom of opinion and voice, and the right to form and lead associations.” To him, the exposure of citizens to these principles and the likelihood of being targets for politicians for votes and the media for information elevate the citizen to become an active voter/player in the democratic process. He posits that citizens tend to gain awareness of their “own roles as equal members of the sovereign power, endowed with rights to participate in the political process and to choose between alternatives under legitimate procedures” (Lindberg, 2006b, p.146).

Democratic ‘Lock In’ Mechanisms  

The idea of democratic “lock in” mechanisms is the second element of the theory. It underscores a link between repetitive elections and the opportunity that connection can provide to political actors (individuals/groups) to embrace democratic values and sound electoral practices. In this case, as the theory suggests, citizens who become voters will see themselves as advocates of democratic principles in terms of their participation in the electoral process. Similarly, citizens and their like-minded friends or families are also more likely to become “lock-in mechanisms” to advocate, influence, and champion their democratic beliefs within the society (Lindberg, 2006b).    Self-Fulfilling Prophecies  

The idea of self-fulfilling prophecies as advanced by the concept could be described as an outcome of the gradual progression from the aforementioned elements of the theory. The self-fulfilling prophecies tend to occur when citizens who are now voters come to the realization that prominent elites (from military officers to political leaders) and majority of citizens would be willing to accept and play by the democratic/electoral rules (Lindberg, 2006b). The space that would be created due to what the theory describes as “democratic consensus” has the possibility to help citizens who might not uphold democratic principles to support these principles (Lindberg, (2006b). A similar mechanism applies to other political actors. For instance, Lindberg (2006b, p.147) notes that “when an autocratic regime holds elections—even if these are not free and fair—those elected unavoidably gain a certain interest in maintaining their respective electoral bases.” This is where the electoral outcomes become essential to political parties. A governing party with a strong electoral support, for example, is less likely to infringe on the rights of voters and their civil liberties for fear of electoral defeat (Lindberg, 2006b).

Civic Organizations 

Another element of the concept that provides a linkage between repetitive elections and democratic advancement is the role of civic organizations. Through election-related activities such as voter-education campaigns and election observation, Lindberg (2006b) suggests that civic organizations build social capital which intend helps them to advance their democratic ideas. These ideas are also most likely to spill to other core areas such as the electoral system, issues on political rights, and civil liberties. In other words, the active engagement of civic organizations in crucial areas of democratic advancement create the incentive for nurturing prodemocracy ideas (Lindberg, 2006b).




Research design

The study employed a descriptive and expository approach in examining the role of the media in raising awareness about electoral violence in Ghana.

Population of study

Population, according to Evboroulalai (2003:15), refers to the entire subject whom the researcher is investigating or any group of persons or organization being studied by an investigator that constitute the population.

Sample size and sampling technique

Undoubtedly, it is believed that the sample population of the tertiary institution, All Nations University, Ghana is our sample. The researcher used the purpose sampling technique in selecting 100 respondents out of the students of All Nations University, Ghana. Copies of questionnaire were administered on those who make themselves available; this ensures hundred percent rate of return.



In this chapter, there is a brief discussion of procedure adopted in the analysis of data obtained from the field.

From the questionnaires administered, it was observed that data obtained must be put into table so that a quick look will give a better summary or conclusion of the research work. Data analysis is an initial aspect in research effort. It serves as the core of research for the fact that gives meaning to the raw data collected during the data collection stage.

One Hundred (100) questionnaires were distributed among the students of All Nations University, Ghana.

All the 100 questionnaires were retrieved and were validly responded to by the students.




This research design is however descriptive and expository in nature, questionnaires were shared among students of All Nations University, Ghana on “the role of the media in raising awareness about electoral violence in Ghana”

The primary functions of the media are the provision of adequate information about ongoing or current events in the society as a way of serving the public what they need to know.

However, the motives came in a negative direction as findings show that the media do not justify issue about riggers and that they magnify the fear and threat of the people in the way they report electoral violence.

In the view revealed vehemently by this research work according to the response of the respondents, a larger percentage feels that the media should give proper dissemination, good reporting, unbiased and accurately reporting about electoral violence.


The dramatic narration and manners in which media report riggers is the vital concern of many theorists who are interested in how the media have reported various riggers acts. On this basis, the negative labeling and definition of the riggers might  have some effect in terms of how they are framed and primed in the mind of the audiences, nevertheless, the current news environment provides a site for a struggle against such framing and priming in the minds of the public.

However, riggers must have publicity in some form if they are to gain attention, inspire fear and respect, secure favorable understanding, cooperation, restraint and loyalty in effort to limit riggers harm to society and in efforts to punish or apprehend general pursue the freedom to cover and issues without restraint, especially government restraint.

The media, the news media in particular have been a ready accomplice for the achievement of the riggers motives of creating fear in the minds of the public.

The media’s coverage of electoral violence provokes both undue publicity for the riggers and immeasurable fear, real or imaginary, in the minds of the public and thus, in the end, may embolden the riggers to go further and raise the threshold of their violence. Livingstone (1982:63) argues that a heavy emphasis on the violent acts committed by riggers may stimulate other riggers to repeat the same crimes. In this view, there is evidence to suggest that detailed coverage of a riggers act is apt to lead a rash of similar acts. In fact the contagion effect may spread beyond reducing the inhibition of the riggers towards violence.


This study indicates that Ghana has some challenges in electoral process particularly in sustaining democracy. 

The following are therefore recommended for improving electoral process in Ghana.

  1. Political education: the political education will inculcate a new value and ethics In the minds of the people, this will affect the family, the peer group, the society as agents of socialization. The ultimate is the development of a new political and democratic order to the electorate.
  2. Improvement in the electoral reform: the electoral reform will inculcate new provisions as a way to checkmate electoral abuse and malpractices and also prosecute perpetrators of electoral offences.
  • Fighting of corruption must be invigorated: the underlined problem of political instability is lack of good governance. Therefore, corrupt leaders must be punished accordingly, stimulate the economy through diversification of economy will create employment and reduce the rate of unemployed youths who are usually used as canon folders during the election period.
  1. Improvement in the security outfit; the security and other security agencies need to be strengthened to enable them perform effectively during the election period.
  2. Furthermore, the media, the civil society and other stakeholders should collaborate to ensure accountability, social justice, rule of law, transparency, gender equality, due process, and equality in the building of the democracy.
  3. What is more, political parties, their agents should shun all forms of electoral and political violence and should embrace peace, order, discipline as a means of improving democratic institution and deepening democracy.
  • Finally the winner takes it all syndrome that is the zero sum game is not ideal in our democratic project because it is willful, violent breeding, parochial, discriminatory, elite based, unethical, and individualistic.


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