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02.06.2014 Feature Article

Conversation About Daily Guide

Conversation About Daily Guide
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I owe it a motherland responsibility to wade into the conversation on journalism in bad taste a la DAILY GUIDE publication of a 'senior official's morgue picture.

It is interesting yesteryear people's destructive revolutionary pontificators of equality today distinguish an official dead from an unofficial dead.

Death is an equaliser. Congress can never talk death anyhow. It is reality itself; not in the beholder's eyes; not twistable, not spinnable. Death is factual, concrete, practical and verifiable.

To escape poverty, congresspeople killed, maimed, plundered and stole so they would be rich.

Today, they unapologetically go about vulgarly flaunting their ill-gotten wealth. If your relative or close associate died or was hurt by those get-rich-quick actions, everyone complicit is wont to irk your sight.

My initial reaction to the picture was the distasteful 'corned beef' all over again; but for congress still living its poisoned past.

Then also was the congress endorsed newspaper writing that a critical soul should 'rest in pieces.'

Same congress elements directed television display of the squad fired slumped bodies of three former heads of state and other highly placed 'senior public' figures.

Dangerously destabilising were the words that were said on radio in 2008. Everyone sat by listening to Radio Gold talking the motherland to the brink, carelessly inciting public disorder typical of a Rwanda radio motherland-wrecking broadcast.

Hear Junior Judas about the role of the deceased in the Kufour-Mills transition. Kufuor had glowingly described the deceased as of a rarest motherland 'unifier' breed. The forever spoiler quickly dismissingly discredited the tribute as posturing in self-interest. In my journalism book, Junior Judas' 'accepted' effusions will not advance an excellent journalism cause.

My political science colleague and I have been advocating a study on national values which will develop a benchmark acceptable behaviour for all, including politicians and journalists along with those regulating journalism practice.

The latter may want to pursue that kind of research to establish a measurable standard that would form empirical basis for decisions taken.

Imagine a congressperson singing yentie obiara and someone else singing yeka wontie … wowe mako a wo hwene mu besÉ” nsuo. Each will claim a right to sing. A fair referee wouldn't allow yentie to play and mako chewing to stop. Both must play or stop.

Seriously, we must do something about you talk, I talk back business. Instituting some dialogical mechanism of I listen to your talk, you listen to my talk could be the way forward towards talking that resolves issues.

My recommendation of an apology to the family is already implemented in the penultimate sentence of the May 24 DAILY GUIDE editorial.

These are difficult times for my compatriots who want to champion decency. Day in, day out, my compatriots suffer in congress abuse and bad behaviour.

However, journalism of excellence is that which rises beyond human feelings, the almost impossible.

In addition, excellent journalism is that which demonstrates courage to accommodate the truth of disagreement no matter how unpleasant.

As for those thieving hypocrites with their thievery and murderous ways running an administration, go to hell is their language, so tell it to them by all means.

They tell it even to the most vulnerable, the hearing and sight impaired schoolchildren.

The pain is that nothing shows they would change their motherland destroying ways anytime soon.

No motherland progresses hung on to the bitterness of the past. But when the rotten past continues to be lived with the bitterness perpetrators flaunting their gains from it in vulgar ways, the responsibility to tolerate them becomes almost an unrealistic human expectation.

In my journalism book, the only justification for publishing that kind of a picture would be a disputed death; whether death has occurred or not. In the absence of that, I would strongly hesitate in passing it, especially in a motherland with civilised leadership.

DAILY GUIDE has changed the face of front page design forever. Those with resources far exceeding it have had to copy it. It is by far the largest circulating and selling wholly privately produced newspaper. Its Akosua cartoon is unrivalled.

It should guard this at all cost. That cost, though, excludes running away from the truth which it should tell with taste, 'compassion and sensitivity' operationalized in the public interest. You want to avoid at all cost hurting your sore in trying to kill the disturbing fly or cutting your nose to spite your face.

I can understand the paper burdened with presenting the abnormal (congressspeople perpetually moralising in roguery), as normal. But that is the state of our congress made unjust and unfair motherland for compatriots who want to do the right thing; to ignore the nonsense of the selfish and ingrate propagandists, who live by falsehood and hypocrisy.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

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