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02.03.2007 Feature Article

On the Ocassion of [email protected] a new and responsible media outlook


The media plays a pivotal role towards shaping public opinion. In fact, they are the voice of the voiceless in society. I share in the opinion of Prof. Russ-Mohl when he said that the media's role is not to set the agenda for the public but “to inform the people as precisely and as open as possible, and to provide the necessary background knowledge and context to the public.” Inasmuch as press freedom is a right, it must be guided by responsibility by those who practice it.

Unfortunately, however, cheap propaganda rather than reporting issues as they affect the common man has been the stock in trade and the pre-occupation of most of our modern day journalists. They have availed themselves to be brainwashed and manipulated by political hog washes to perpetuate a heinous agenda by power drunk political adventurists. Sections of the media have become light, frivolous and very easily use invectives, insults, cheap populism, tantrums and insinuations over issues that could generate undesirable events in the country.

An even more worrying phenomenon is the situation where certain political activists and journalists who parade themselves as social commentators attempt to sensationalise and politicise issues. They launch unwarranted, unsubstantiated, concocted and cacophonous personal attacks, insinuations and innuendos on radio and television programmes, all in a concerted attempt to cast a slur on the hard won reputation of individuals who, most often they come nowhere near in terms of academic intellect, age, affluence, social standing and the like.

In the pursuit of their cheap, populist and sometimes political agenda, they succeed in trivialising issues, diverting attention from the core issues and rather focus on parochial and unintelligible matters based on rumours, unproven allegations, which at the end of the day draw us back in our quest to address problems facing the nation. They simply make it difficult, if not impossible, for one listening to them to decipher between facts and perceptions.

Let me use this opportunity to call on the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Radio and TV Station Owners, Programme Producers, and Hosts of Talk Shows to rise up, co-operate and check these cacophonous, whimsical, charlatans, rubble-rousers and gold diggers whose embarrassing acts, inflammatory and divisive comments have the potential of throwing the noble institution of journalism into an abyss and our beloved country into a jungle.

As we celebrate our 50th birthday as an independent nation, it behoves on all players in the media landscape to exhibit the highest sense of professional competence, care, decorum and objectivity. Let's be minded of the fact that “words and the ink are as powerful as any physical blow”.



This author has authored 22 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KOBLANUVIADENU

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