News Media Trust and Sources of Political Information in West Africa: Mainstream vs. New Media in Ghana and Nigeria

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Like many other developed democracies, most democratic countries in West Africa are facing challenges of trust in news media for political information, particularly with the emergence of the non-mainstream media - new social media. Previous research revealed that alternative news media trust is correlated with lower levels of trust in news in Africa and that the presence of private media have failed to offer alternative sources to government media. This paper for the first time seeks to investigate reasons for the increase in distrust in news media among the mainstream and non-mainstream media in West African Ghana and Nigeria, which is the main source for political information in the region. We conducted the study through online surveys for the audience of news media in Ghana and Nigeria who are interested in political news and are frequent users of both mainstream media and new social media for political information. We found out that even though people in these two countries use social media as an alternative source of obtaining political information, yet, they largely still trust mainstream media news for political information rather than social media.

About the authors

Jamiu M. Mustapha

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8239-5808

Lecturer of the Department of Mass Communication, Philological Faculty

10 Miklukho-Maklaya St, bld 2, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Marina G. Shilina

Plekhanov Russian University of Economics; Lomonosov Moscow State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9608-352X


36 Stremyanny Ln, Moscow, 115093, Russian Federation; 9 Mokhovaya St, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation

Obiri S. Agyei

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7409-7584

PhD Candidate of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy

10 Miklukho-Maklaya St, bld 2, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Carbukie R. Ocansey

University for Professional Studies

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9740-8894

Lecturer at Department of Communication Studies

Accra (UPSA), New Rd, Madina, Ghana


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Copyright (c) 2022 Mustapha J.M., Shilina M.G., Agyei O.S., Ocansey C.R.

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