Following the 2017 killing of Maxwell Adam Mahama by a lynch mob in Ghana, this article engages with the subject of lynching in Ghana through a content analysis of newsmedia items relating to the practice. While reactions to Mahama’s killing invite optimism that lynching as a
form of instant (in)justice is being problematized in Ghana, this study leads to a less optimistic position. State, media and public responses to Mahama’s killing were compared vis-à-vis similar killings of two police officers ‐ Jerry Wornoo and Richard Owusu-Sekyere ‐
in 1998. Drawing on the relevant literature, this study concluded that a number of factors combined to make Mahama, Wornoo and Owusu-Sekyere ‘newsworthy victims’. In contrast, victims in several lynching cases reported by Ghanaian media between 1999 and May 2017 were not deemed
newsworthy, thus attracting less attention. Consequently, there have been missed opportunities following the Wornoo and Owusu-Sekyere killings to make critical systemic interventions in Ghana to prevent lynching. Hence, it is argued, the mere sensationalization of Mahama’s lynching may
not trigger the requisite systemic social change. Recommendations are made to harness the momentum from Mahama’s killing to address instant (in)justice.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
0000000121518595Cape Breton University
Ghana Broadcasting Corporation
October 1, 2020
This article was made available online on April 2, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "‘Newsworthy victims’: The killing of Maxwell Mahama and the culture of lynching in Ghana".
More about this publication?
- Intellect Books page
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites