Readability of the press releases of the Government of Ghana
Abstract Press releases are major channels through which governments communicate with the masses. Thus, press releases must be readable for ef...
Press releases are major channels through which governments communicate with the masses. Thus, press releases must be readable for effective communication. The aim of this paper was to determine the level of readability as well as the pattern of polysyllabic words in government of Ghana press releases. Sixty press releases from the ministry of communication of the government of Ghana were selected by convenience sampling. Flesch readability indexes were used to compute readability scores. Frequencies, measures of central tendencies, and one sample T-test using bootstrapping, were used to describe readability of the press releases. The results revealed that press releases by the government of Ghana, on the average, were ‘difficult’ to read (= 38.49; = 10.54) such that a person must have attained over 13 years of formal education in order to be able to read them (= 13.65; = 2.09). In addition, the press releases were above (more difficult) recommended reading ages (Mean Differences: Ease: = 21.52; Age: = 5.65) for public documents. Finally, majority of the press releases contained a proportion of about 15% polysyllabic words. It is recommended that government press releases be edited to use shorter words for effective public communication.
Key Words: Communication; Press Release; Readability; Readability Formula; Flesch Reading Ease; Political Communication
JCMR Journal of Communication and Media Research, Vol. 13, No. 1, April 2021, pp. 41 – 51
© Association of Media and Communication Researchers of Nigeria (AMCRON).
About the authors
* William Kodom Gyasi, Ph.D. is a senior lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana where he has been teaching since 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Education (Arts) from the University of Cape Coast in 2001 and an MPhil and PhD in English Language from the same university. His research areas are readability, academic communication and corporate communication.
** Manasseh Jonah Bangmarigu is a graduate student at the Department of Communication and Media Studies, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) degree from the University of Cape Coast, and he is currently studying Master of Arts in Communication and Media Studies (Business Communication) at the Department of Communication and Media Studies, University of Education, Winneba. His research interest includes multimodal communication, health communication and discourse analysis.
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Gyasi, W. K. & Bangmarigu, M. J. (2021). Readability of the press releases of the Government of Ghana. Journal of Communication and Media Research, 13 (1): 41 – 51.