Readability Index on various Ghanaian News

Eric Galaa, Charles Daarta Nanglakong, Cletus Ganaa

Abstract


The media is a potent means of information in every democratic dispensation since it controls the masses’ perceptions on virtually all aspects of human life. Therefore, news items must be presented in simple to understand terms. In this paper, the readability of four Ghanaian newspapers (two states – owned, two private owned) were evaluated. Each of the two private-owned newspapers was affiliated to the two dominant political parties in Ghana (NPP, NDC). Non-proportionate stratified sampling was used to sample 215 newspaper articles (editorials) from these four newspapers. Fog readability index was used to calculate the readability of the selected articles, and frequencies and percentages of the readability scores were computed. Independent sample t- test was used to compare readability across the categories of newspapers. The results revealed that the four newspapers are difficult to read such that on the average, one must have attained at least a college degree in order to read (based on Fog’s index) and understand. In addition, the private-owned newspapers (Daily Guide and Enquirer) were relatively easier to read than the public-owned ones albeit the difference is rather small. Finally, the perceived pro – NPP newspaper (Daily Guide) was relatively easier to read than the perceived pro – NDC newspaper (Enquirer). The findings suggest that these newspapers are not communicating effectively with the masses suggesting a need for further editing to achieve this aim.


Keywords


readability index; newspapers; political parties; fog index and affiliated.

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