Business of the Spirit. Ghanaian broadcast media and the commercial exploitation of Pentecostalism

M. de Witte

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article takes a critical look at Ghana's rapidly evolving broadcasting scene and in particular at the expansion and popularity of religious broadcasting. Sketching the developments of the Ghanaian media landscape, it analyses the changing politics of representing religion in this field. The much-celebrated processes of media deregulation and democratization, and the new opportunities for ownership, production, and participation they entail, have led to a dominance of Pentecostalism in the public sphere. While this development has been analysed from the perspective of churches and pastors, this article explores the intertwinement of commercial media and Pentecostalism from the perspective of a number of private media owners and producers in Accra. Whether these media entrepreneurs are themselves Pentecostal or not, they all have to deal with, and commercially exploit, the power and attraction of Pentecostalism. Their experience that commercial success is hardly possible without Pentecostalism makes clear that the influence of Pentecostalism in the Ghanaian public sphere reaches way beyond media-active pastors and born-again media practitioners, and invites us to rethink the relationship between media, business and religion. © 2011 Intellect Ltd Article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-205
JournalJournal of African Media Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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