14.08.2005 Feature Article

Good PR Move For The President Meeting The Media

Good PR Move For The President Meeting The Media
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The President's recent hosting of his third media encounter at the Castle Osu does have an impact on those who were present especially with humorous remarks over media bashing on the acquisition of a hotel by his son, Chief John Addo Kufuor and allegations of corruption by Government functionaries, attracting prolong laughter from the audience. Not only does the interaction create good relations with the media, it also breaks the President's long silence on some important prevailing issues. It is up to the nation to look at those allegations and his story and draw their conclusions. It is not up to the media to draw their conclusions in the reportage. Those who would believe him will believe him and those who will doubt him will. It is fair that finally everyone now is aware of what actually happened and then we will not put too much emphasis into the story.

Many had been wondering when the President was going to come out to defend himself in terms of those various allegations; Ms Giselle Yadzi, Hotel Kufour saga and numerous allegations of corruptions. While it is not appropriate to hear allegations and immediately perceive it to be untruth, it is best to let the whole country know the other side and that is how any allegation should be handled. If he continues to create that connection, the people might build confidence in him ALL THE TIME because he does not shy away from allegations. It is dangerous when there are numerous allegations published by the media and only his Spokesperson would come on air and dismiss those allegations and the media without any concrete explanation and evidence of the truth. Silence means consent and that is a weakness. The people must be told what actually happened and they can decide who is at fault and who is telling the truth.

It is a great PR move for the President but at least whenever a journalist reports, he/she would have that picture of the President interacting with them in mind and also take into consideraton the good relations that existed. It will avoid the misinterpretation of stories and also the rush to judgement to publish hot and juicy stories. But yet still whenever juicy stories are published, the people would like to hear rejoinders/rebuttals to establish who is telling the truth. He must do this interaction very often to build confidence, good relations and must have in mind that the media cannot be taken for granted.

Certain aspects the President made clear and we must commend him were statements made as reported by GNA;

"Responding to criticisms of corruption levelled against his Government by the media and civil society groups, President Kufuor asked journalists to expose people who were engaged in corrupt practices to enable the due process to deal with them".

Pledging his support for the CHRAJ's investigation;

" pledged his support to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for an unfettered probe into the venture. "On its own initiative, CHRAJ has commenced preliminary investigation into the matter. CHRAJ has my full cooperation in going about its legitimate mandate under our Constitution," he said. "It is to be hoped that all those concerned for the establishment of the truth in this matter, will cooperate with the Commission in its work."

"Ghana had undergone the African Peer Review Mechanism and the report of the Committee of the Eminent Persons was being studied by the Summit of the African Union for the final review to be pronounced later."

"I dare say that additional to newspaper reviews, radio and television commentaries, the institutional approach to fighting corruption has even more promise. This is why the international community, including investors have commended us for our efforts” - GNA

The President as reported asked journalists to report people involved in corrupt practices to so that the appropriate method would be facilitated to deal with them. He also charged the public to ask those institutions involved in research to substantiate their claims. This is what I call "in your face" and the President means business. If people have taken his administration for granted earlier, now it is not happening anymore. The bad apples would be removed and be subject to public ridicule.

We as Ghanaians must support the President and his government. A lot has gone on this year in 2005 and Mr. Kufour has done a wonderful job; undergone the African Peer Review Mechanism, debt cancellation, being part of the G8 summit, visiting the families of the victim of the London bombing on his way from his trip to Jamaica. WE MUST BE PROUD OF OUR COUNTRY GHANA. If we know what is right but because of politics we do the opposite then it does affect the success of our country. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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