If You Look At Me...
6/7/2011 10:21:10 AM -
That was a fantastic The Probe programme that rolled off GTV last Sunday afternoon when Doris Dartey hosted Alfred Ogbame of the Gye Nyame Concord newspaper, Shamima Muslim of Citi FM radio and of Peace FM radio.
After the almost one-hour-long discussion, I could not help myself letting out an involuntary “Yep!”. That was one entertaining but deep tete-a-tete that touched on various issues on the media landscape especially as they related to the experiences of Shamima and Kwami.
Of course if one has such excellent “talkatives” as the two broadcasters on one show, one cannot expect anything less. And to confess, I watched them with a tinge of jealousy because personally no matter how dearly I love radio, I would not dare get close to a microphone .... unless my audience were patient with me to complete my sentences.
But seriously this was one discussion I enjoyed entirely and significantly it brought home to me the fact that journalists rarely turn the searchlight on themselves. Day in and day out, we appear to get busy directing the searchlight on others and never on ourselves.
If we did that regularly, not only will we find something to learn from one another’s experiences in a career that every man on the street appears to know better than the practitioners themselves, but also put us back in our lane when we go astray.
For example, the believability of news, the very bedrock of our practice, is under siege. We seem to be goofing so much with what we put out these days that we ourselves are beginning to doubt the truthfulness of some of the things we put out.
Currently I have noticed that the prefix to discussions on many published stories on radio morning shows has been “if it is true”. I hear headlines read and the discussions that follow begin with “......... if it is true”. Why should anyone doubt the truthfulness of a published news item?
Isn’t it because some of us have been turning out so much untruths and half truths? Examples abound.
I always tell young enthusiastic journalism interns that the public have a right to hold us to account whenever we feed them with wrong information.
I tell them that journalists have an unwritten contract with the public to collect news and supply them so they need to bother themselves going round to look for news.
So we ought to provide news that is new, true and relevant.
But I disgress. Back to The Probe programme during which both Kwami and Shamima revealed how very passionately they love their job which comes along with a few unexpected perks such as getting doors opened for them literally, and earning recognition, smiles and handshakes in public.
See why I am jealous? Only last week, I was on my way to work when I was flagged by a police officer to pull to the curb among a fairly big queue of other vehicles.
The reason? My road worthiness sticker had expired. Well, I did everything to make the officer let me go, including pulling a complimentary card, but nothing would make him budge.
If only I was a radio or television journalist!
Thank you. Kwami, thank you Shamima for telling it as it is. Not since the shamefully low salaries that journalists in this country receive were released to the public a few months ago, have we turned the spotlight on ourselves, to let the public know how journalists get along.
While we are at it talking about lifestyle, would someone please put the brakes on for me? Four years of marriage and four children? Efo!
I exit on one more word for Kwaku Sakyi Addo, that fine gentleman who threatened a couple of weeks ago that he was quitting journalism. Someone tell Kwaku to his face for me that he is bluffing.
Yes, bluffing. Whoever heard of a retired journalist? Others before him, who may not have been as good as he is, have tried and failed. They always come back. Mark my words.