Inter-media agenda-setting effects in Ghana: newspaper vs. online and state vs. private

Sikanku, Etse
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The influx of the worldwide web has brought about dynamism in the way news is formulated and reported. Over the years scholars have debated the key ingredients that influence news selection. At the bottom of this discussion rests the question: what is considered newsworthy? But an even more evolving question is: who sets the media agenda? This study argues that the news worthiness of print and online media or state and private media is based on inter-media agenda setting. It examines the inter-media agenda setting effects of four publications in Ghana-the Daily Graphic-a government controlled newspaper which has both print and online versions, the Daily Guide which is privately owned newspaper with print and online versions, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) which is a government controlled solely online publication and Ghanaweb which is a privately owned solely online website.;Traditional cross-lagged correlations, rank ordering, the Rozelle-Campbell baseline and chi-square tests are used in this research. The results show that there was limited inter-media agenda setting for Ghana News Agency, Daily Graphic and Daily Guide since they produced 80% of their own stories. There was however strong evidence of inter-media agenda setting for Ghanaweb from GNA and some level of inter-media agenda setting from the Daily Graphic and Daily Guide. Results from the cross-lagged topic agenda correlations showed that the GNA's agenda at Time 1 was highly correlated with that of the other three publications at Time 2. Ghanaweb's rank order for Time 1 was not significant for GNA and the Daily Guide even though there was some influence for the Daily Graphic. The two print newspapers Daily Guide and Daily Graphic influenced each other and both influenced the private online publication, Ghanaweb.

Journalism and mass communication;