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07.05.2021 Feature Article

Is There Culture Of Silence In Ghana?

Is There Culture Of Silence In Ghana?
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I have heard and read about some people trying to insinuate that the culture of silence has returned or is returning to Ghana.

The greatest argument they are making is that when a Journalist or a supposed opponent makes a post or expresses a view and it is not pleasant, a supposed social media commentator will take the person to the cleaners. I have been thinking about this.

How can Journalists and others have the freedom to express themselves on topical national issues and alleged social media commentators cannot have the right to also express themselves?

Freedom of expression does not exist for only Journalist alone.

That there is an assumed attack dogs to descend on Journalists or other alleged opponents who expresses dissenting views in itself is evidence that there is rather a profound culture of loud noise in Ghana or if you want freedom of expression.

The claim that Ghana is returning to an alleged Culture of Silence is in my view a loud exaggeration meant to achieve a political effect. Some people want to be the only ones doing the talking. Any dissenting voice means 'Culture of Silence'.

If one feels maligned or abused by anybody, be it an ‘attack' on a Journalist or any other person and there is harm or defamation, you take either civil or criminal action against the offender rather than throw allegations of phantom culture of silence about.

We cannot suddenly want to appropriate to ourselves a non-existent Culture of Silence in Ghana and careless about its global effect on our country.

The condition that existed in the era of the Culture of Silence does not exist in Ghana today. Ghanaians don not disappear after expressing their views. They go home to sleep on their beds.

Journalists and other social commentators cannot live with the mindset that we can say or write all the things on this earth and when there is a reaction from others to our views then we coined strange terms to describe the situation.

I have been in the media space for over two decades. I was practicing journalism in this country during the era of the Culture of Silence and knew how difficult it was for one to express himself or herself in the media space.

There is no Culture of Silence in this country at this time. Culture of Silence is not just a cliché. It was coined in those days to describe a state of affairs in the country.

We rather have the proliferation of the media in Ghana and people don not hesitate to talk when there is the need.

It looks like some have enjoyed the freedom so much so that they do not even want to follow basic regulatory and operational requirements.

When action is taken to ensure compliance then the action is described as a Culture of Silence. Allegations of a culture of silence in Ghana at this time is a myriad. It is also a myth. It is does not exist. It is not factual. It only exist on the minds of some people who are allergic to discerning views. It can also be said to be an elaborate exaggeration aimed at raising a false alarm where there is none.

Let us nurture our democracy and mass media and should not be the very ones pulling down our gains in the media front just for political point scoring reasons.

By AKILU SAYIBU

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