Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Professional Studies Accra, Ghana

2 Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Ghana Television



The communication skills of politicians determine the attitudes of electorates towards the outcomes of national elections. However, media news framing of presidential elections affects and shapes the electorate’s perceived attitudes toward elections. This study employed a comparative experimental design to test the hypotheses by varying the valence and types of frames (i.e., positives vs. negative frames × thematic vs. episodic frames) to evaluate how these news frames affected the perceived attitudes of Ghanaian electorates towards the 2020 presidential election in Ghana. Stratified sampling approach was used to enroll 2,702 participants for this study from nine regions. The findings showed that the framing effects were few, weak, and not robust among the electorates in the nine regions. The findings further indicated that the perceived attitudes of electorates toward the elections were not consistent. The perceived attitudes towards the election were influenced by a single news frame and the effects of the news frames were not determined by a single news frame. Finally, the perceived attitudes of Ghanaian electorates toward the 2020 elections were found not to be determined by a particular news frame.