Very heavy moments in Ghana currently and I dare stir up that feeling again but I only come in peace to pinch the media in Ghana especially those in the broadcast front. This moment really is a test of your professionalism and nothing else. The call that the Ghanaian media is filled with bought journalists who will only do their payers bidding and not what is right for mother Ghana and his/her profession.
I have not been so excited about how the Ghanaian media cover issues of national security especially with clashes involving civilians and government authorities, demonstrations etc. Issues of these nature are and must be treated with all the caution because emotions are at play which makes covering events like these very critical.
Emotions on radio and TV on the above mentioned events in Ghana are just unthinkable. I know broadcasters are humans hence could be taken over by either anger or sadness over a particular story being run. It is very imperative as a presenter of any radio or TV station to present the facts of every story without emotions so that the only judge could be the viewer or listener. The emotions only exposes you to the viewer or listener to know your stand which should not be the case.
Diction can be another slippery ground in times like this where the majority of the citizenry is interested in is revenge and not justice. Though their craving for revenge is just human, it is very illegal which is the reason radio and TV presenters should check the words they use on radio and TV. This call includes the folks from the newspaper angle. So far, it hasn’t been great.
Resource persons are another angle I cannot do without. Most radio and TV stations love to go for just the controversial guests. The one who will speak like an “animal” will and not human because listeners apparently will tune in for them and not the sensible guests. What my media folks forget is that in times like that, there can be nothing but education and making people aware of their actions as stated by the rules governing the state. A typical example is when we have a security issue like mob attack and radio and TV stations call on politicians with no clue on what mob attack is let alone how it works.
The media is also supposed to instill some form of hope in the public by airing exactly what’s happening especially the presence of the law enforcers. Unfortunately, this is only attempted in the capital and not anywhere. Others don’t have the right equipments to even show us what is happening at the time it was but always had to hold on till the time for the major news bulletin is up. That wait sometimes is frustrating and until we find a way, there won’t be enough to calm the anxiety and nerves during these clashes.
Running story treatment is another huge problem in the media in Ghana. As for this, I cannot fathom why because majority of folks running the news rooms of these stations are people who should know better. The arm chair journalism is just becoming too much and really affecting what’s coming out. Give the people every angle of the story and stop being comfortable with just the obvious angles.
Bought media practitioners should also come to their senses because it will only land you in trouble because all you look out for is your master and not the public. Professionally, every media practitioner is accountable to his or her listener. I want to blame the media owners here because these practitioners are not paid well hence fall for any financial trap set for him.
The earlier we rid the Ghanaian airwaves of political bias, the better because we are sitting on a time bomb and pampering ourselves that it is all well with Ghana. It is not and the necessary measures need to be taken and it should be done with alacrity before the phrase “had I known” becomes our greetings. The manner in which the Ghanaian media is handling the late soldier who was brutally murdered case could be better and I expect a better one next time.
It’s amazing how media practitioners forget the power they wield when the microphone, camera or pen is before them. You have all it takes to shape the thoughts of the people so I implore you to use this power and do so wisely because you seem to be losing out and unfortunately, it’s always the people who suffer. The CNN and the BBC’s are all used for the same course. Give the people hope and something to believe in by bringing to light the undiluted truth.
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