Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 216

Full Length Research Paper

Politeness in media talk shows: The case of media panel discussions in Ghana

Kwasi Sarfo-Adu
  • Kwasi Sarfo-Adu
  • Department of Liberal Studies, Faculty of Business and Management Studies, Kumasi Technical University, Kumasi, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
Cynthia Elizabeth Osei
  • Cynthia Elizabeth Osei
  • Department of Liberal Studies, Faculty of Business and Management Studies, Kumasi Technical University, Kumasi, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 05 May 2020
  •  Accepted: 08 July 2021
  •  Published: 31 July 2021

Abstract

In human communication, the communicators involved in the interaction have an obligation to show politeness to each other for a successful conversation. Non-observance of politeness in a communicative act such as panel discussions has the potential to infringe upon the public self-image of the addressees. Situated in Brown and Levinson’s Politeness Theory (PT), the paper sought to explore the kinds of politeness strategies employed by discussants in media panel discussions (MPDs) in Ghana. Accordingly, twenty episodes of MPDs were recorded from media stations and content analyzed based on B&L’s model. The results indicated that in most of the cases (43.35%), panelists marked politeness by addressing the positive face of their interlocutor (s) as against (38.93%) occurrences of negative face, with Face Threatening Acts (FTAs) on record (without redressive actions) recording 15.70%. The findings suggest that Ghanaian MPDs are characterized by positive politeness. The results of the study have sociological implications for media talk in Ghana. When panelists become aware of the importance of the face needs of their interlocutors, they will avoid embarrassments and incendiary language that threatens the face wants of discussants in interactions.

 

Key words: Politeness, face, positive politeness, negative politeness, FTA.