In reference to the GNA news story posted on Ghanaweb.com on Friday, June 18, 2004, I wish to point out that the story erroneously claimed Lt. Michael S. Steele is the Governor of the State of Maryland. Mr. Michael S. Steele is in fact the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Maryland (in the United States federation of states, the Lieutenant Governor is second in command to the Governor of the State). In this instance, the Governor of the State of Maryland is Mr. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
I'd like to take this opportunity to encourage the GNA (and by extension, all other news media in Ghana) to improve the quality of their news reportage. The point of reporting news is to objectively inform and educate people with the facts, hence errors in reportage can change the context of stories, and may even serve to undermine the credibility of such news agencies. Top news organizations understand that credibility is paramount. The BBC's world class stature is due to their reputation for being one of the most objective and factual in their reporting. Given that the information age has enabled access to the vast knowledge base of information on just about any topic one can imagine, it is inexcusable for the GNA or any other news organization to commit such fundamental news reporting errors.
In covering the visit of an important dignitary such as Lieutenant Governor Steele, the least the GNA reporters could have done is to do a little research on the internet, which would have revealed the facts about Mr. Steele, something I was able to do in less than five minutes with a few clicks. Below is the biography of Mr. Michael S. Steele, excerpted from the State of Maryland's official website.
Biography of Lieutenant Governor, Michael S. Steele, State of Maryland
In January 2003, Michael Steele earned a place in history when he became the first African American elected to statewide office, and the first-ever Republican Lieutenant Governor in Maryland.
As Lieutenant Governor, Michael Steele serves as a partner, advisor and principal representative for Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. Mr. Steele works with the state's congressional delegation, state and local elected officials to promote and implement the administration's policies and initiatives.
His top priorities include reforming the state's Minority Business Enterprise program, improving the quality of Maryland's public education system, expanding economic development in the state and fostering cooperation between government and faith-based organizations to help those in need.
Michael Steele rose through the political ranks in Prince George's County to become the first African American County Republican Party Chairman. In 1995, Mr. Steele was selected Maryland State Republican Man of the Year. In December 2000, Mr. Steele became the first-ever African American to be elected chairman of a state Republican Party. Mr. Steele also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee.
In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Steele to serve on the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy. Under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, Mr. Steele served as a Commissioner on the National Federal Election Reform Commission. Other affiliations include serving on the NAACP's Blue Ribbon Panel on Election Reform, the Board of Directors of The Hospice of the National Capital Area; the Prince George's County Chapter of the NAACP.
Mr. Steele was born on October 19, 1958 at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George's County. He graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School, earned his bachelor's degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University in 1981 and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991. Mr. Steele also attended the Augustinian Friars Seminary at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, in preparation for the priesthood.
Mr. Steele is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Landover Hills, Maryland where, in 1998, was recognized as the Man of the Year. He attends mass regularly with his wife Andrea and their two sons, Michael and Drew.
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