Critiquing To A Fault
Interesting matters have arisen out of the President's 'Meet The Press' encounter but perhaps the most intriguing is the excessive critiquing of some aspects.
President Akufo-Addo foresaw the unnecessary critiquing that was going to follow the programme hence his question about whether certain senior journalists were present or not. He did not want to suffer any verbal attack for as they would put it, 'selective invitation' by his minders. It was a question which suggested that he had instructed the 'behind-the-scene' minders about how to prepare the invitation list so all facets of the media would be contained.
As it turned out though, many journalists were invited and these came from the two sides of the political divide as observed in an earlier editorial.
Some persons looked at the President's apparel; his Ghana wear trade mark dressing – having attracted many of his compatriots since he reduced his patronage of suits and turned to 'atampa designs.' What a way to promote local products!
There was little or nothing to talk about his dressing as it turned out. We have not heard anything in that direction and so congratulate him for his fashion consistency – something he is doing with the Vice President.
For the first time since the introduction of the presidential encounters with the media, however, there has been an inordinate critiquing of the so-called quality of questions. It looks like it took centre stage in some quarters as it threatened to spoil the broth as it were.
Critiquing everything about the session is definitely in order but the detailed probing of the questions from journalists – the pivot of the programme, can be a disincentive for the quality of future sessions. Some journalists with genuine questions could cocoon into themselves apprehensive of the red pen of those marking their questions.
Academics and others who were involved in the marking of the questions posed did not provide us with their marking schemes yet have made so much noise in social media and other channels about, what in their opinion, are the poor quality of probing the President.
Although not entirely a novelty; having been around for a while now, there is still a level of stage shyness among some journalists. Some might consider this as not a valid defence, which we appreciate, but it is our position that killing it, as it were, with harsh adjectives is an avoidable option.
Questioning the President's candidness and others in his handling of the questions, should have rather been the preoccupation of the markers.
A number of persons whose questions were lampooned by the markers are fighting back albeit silently. They have asked rather sarcastically whether they should have been guided by a non-existent manual of questioning the President.