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19.08.2004 Press Review

EDITORIAL: We Are Not Party

By The Analyst (Monrovia)

Last week an advertiser placed a paid supplement in this paper alleging that certain opposition figures in Ghana were planning to subvert the Ghanaian Government prior to the pending general and presidential elections. Since then, the Ghanaian media and friends of The Analyst based abroad have been calling and seeking details about the nitty-gritty of the content of the supplement.

Why we welcome queries about what appears in our paper, we are concerned about the character of some of the queries that has been spewing from the Ghanaian press. What raised our concern specifically is that instead of treating the supplement as purely an advertisement reflecting the opinion of the advertiser and not a news story by our reporter as indicated by the editor's note that accompanied the supplement, some of the queries chose to probe for more details and verifications where they are not obtainable.

We think this is deliberately and unnecessarily sidestepping the issue. In our view, the "supplement" and "editor's note" attached to the publication were strong indicators that The Analyst is not party to the information. In this vein, believe the best thing for any interested individuals to do is to seek further information from security agencies and diplomatic officials since at the best of our editorial judgment the supplement provided a tip-off for further investigation.

It is therefore our sincere hope that security officials in the ECOWAS subregion will do everything possible to ensure that current efforts to stabilize the subregion and restore sanity and democracy is not thrown in the dustbin of violence and destruction because somebody somewhere failed to respond appropriately for selfish reasons. While we are yet to decide what to make of the information contained in the supplement, we want to remind the relevant authorities that the violence that swept Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote d'Ivoire between 1989 and present and left undue calamities in its wake started as mere rumors that were simply as good as written off as "false alarms." This is precisely why despite our own suspicion, we thought worthwhile to run the advertisement. It is worth noting that even falsehood needs to be verified as falsehood.

Having said that, we want to assure our colleagues in the Ghanaian media that we stand ready to work them professionally to strengthen information dissemination in the region. Meantime, it is our ardent hope that this clarification will lay the issue to rest and direct our energies towards helping our respective countries and governments to build and sustain credibility and people-driven democracy.

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