UniMAC-GIJ senior lecturer, Dr Etse Sikanku is the recipient of the best research paper in political communication and freedom of expression at the Western States Communication Association Conference in the United States of America.
The paper is co-authored with another accomplished Ghanaian scholar, Nana Kwame Osei Fordjour of the University of New Mexico, UNM.
The conference is one of the leading regional communication associations in the United States with high global recognition. The conference publishes two high-profile journals, Western Journal of Communication and Communication Reports.
The event was held on February 18, 2023 at the Arizona State University, Arizona, USA.
Dr Sikanku is a leading scholar in political communication, international communication, political framing, campaign strategy/communication, comparative communication and global politics.
His seminal work on one of the most iconic leaders and communicators of the 21st century, Barack Obama, titled “The Afrocentric Obama and lessons on political campaigns” received much acclaim.
N. K Osei Fordjour is an accomplished scholar in public relations, political communication, social media, political discourse and visual communication.
Sikanku and Fordjour’s award-winning paper is titled: “Governor Andrew Cuomo before things went sour: A mixed method frame analysis of his COVID-19 tweets.” The paper which was entered through the competitive paper submission process, examined the use of social media as a tool for crisis communication by political leaders. Using former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tweets as data, the study examined the crisis communication frames presented during the early days of the pandemic.
Some of the frames unearthed included the prevalence of leadership frames, action tweets, severity frames, reassurance and collaborative frames. The paper adopted a mixed-method approach.
An email from the organisers stated that “the reviewers were so impressed with your paper that you have been awarded the Top Paper Award.”