Just what is the Centre for Media Analysis (CMA) up to? We are not amused at all about their recent press release on the media in Ghana, dated Monday, 22nd January 2007.
In the said release, they sought to rather crudely juxtapose the and the New Democrat, two newspapers whose mission statements are poles apart.
Whereas the report, to which the centre takes exception, was a report of a happening, that of the New Democrat was a commentary steeped in outright insults.
The pro-NDC paper described the incumbent president in words which we do not think should be repeated in this piece and that was the umpteenth time that paper and others in their stable have stooped so low.
We take exception to the centre's boot-licking reverence to former President Rawlings in which they stated “…to avoid indecent graphic presentation of His Excellency Former President Rawlings.”
The analysis, which specifically dwelt on two news stories carried by the newspapers, was warped and smacked of a hasty and infantile effort to attract the attention of their sponsors.
News Decency And Political Decency: Is The Ghanaian Media Failing?, was the heading of the press release containing the analysis of the centre.
The NDC papers are the worst offenders in terms of news decency. There is no doubt that the newspapers in the stable of the NDC, as they relish the newfound wind of freedom in the country, are throwing journalistic ethics to the dogs.
Their rejection by readers can be found in their nominal print-run. But for the radio stations which amplify their contents, these papers would not have been known by many Ghanaians.
They have gone to town with all manner of spurious allegations about one political office holder or another, with no substantiation.
Most of those accused albeit mendaciously, have allowed sleeping dogs to lie in the interest of national harmony, so our fledgling democracy can gain adequate roots.
It is no secret that most of the garbage appearing in those publications, which have no fixed addresses, are written by politicians on laptops and planted in the newspapers to be consumed by a few gullible party supporters.
When they are under pressure by the courts, they simply evaporate and come up under a new name.
Is the CMA not aware of this trend on the media landscape? We refuse to give any respectability to the said analysis because it does not deserve it.
Besides, why would an organisation seeking to effect changes in the status quo resort to a press release to advise members of a fraternity like the media? Couldn't they have written to the individual newspaper houses, instead of what they did last week through a press release?
It is surprising how certain organizations pretend not to be aware of the unwholesome attitude of some former political office holders in the country.
Was the CMA in existence when Rawlings was spewing unprintable garbage about the incumbent President? What was their reaction? Would they rather Rawlings' incessant attacks on his successor are ignored or given space in our newspapers?
Would they prefer the former president to be blacked out in the media landscape especially when he misbehaves?
As for us, we wish to state that we shall be guided by our news judgment and give our readers and indeed the people of Ghana what they deserve in terms of news and informed analysis.
Ours is a decent newspaper operation, with strict adherence to the ethics of the journalism profession.
We do not need a fund-seeking NGO to lecture us on what is decent journalism and what is not. We say no to subservience to anybody no matter who they are. It is in this vein that we rubbish the analysis which prompted this editorial.
Our readership volume which is experiencing a phenomenal growth, attests to this development, which we state with humility. We stand by the story about the former president's pants dropping as he went through a security screening at Heathrow because it is news and our esteemed readers need to know.
We ask the CMA to look us in the face and tell us whether former President Rawlings' pants did drop at London Airport or not?
We have no remorse and state that when something untoward happens again we would report it truthfully without fear or favour.