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25.03.2009 Sports News

SWAG awards for sale? (1)

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle

For pioneers of sports journalism and broadcasting who are dead and gone, they might at these moments be turning themselves round in their graves due to the decreasing standards of sports journalism and broadcasting in the country.

And for those on retirement, there is no doubt that they are greatly worried over the situation and must be lamenting each day whilst awaiting for the moment the good Lord will call them to glory.

Over the years, concerns have been raised over the low standards of sports journalism and broadcasting in the country, but one has not been able to lay hands on a single concrete situation to justify that.

However, the recent reports in the media about an alleged sale of award to the Red Bull Soccer Academy by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) at the rate of GH ¢5,000 leaves much to be desired.

The story, according to information reaching us, was first broken by an Accra based radio station - Oman FM with a follow up on Ghanaweb.

A critical analysis of the story gives credence to the fact that indeed Sports journalism and broadcasting has reduced to the lowest ebb.

One is not out to question the professional credibility of the reporters who broke the story, but it gives enough reason to question their worth as journalists and broadcasters.

The story lacked the basic principles of journalism - that is to afford all interesting parties the opportunity to react to allegations and to deny all parties, a fair opportunity to state their side of a story was indeed unfair, biased and unprofessional.

The attitude of the broadcaster and the journalist towards the story could be said to pure mischief and a calculated attempt to tarnish the image of SWAG.

But why should one worry over these basic principles, when the profession has been overtaken by charlatans parading as journalists/broadcasters. One needs not to worry, when basic principles like professionalism, fairness among others have been thrown to the dogs.

In a generation when you no longer need formal training or education to practice journalism and broadcasting, such an approach to the profession must be expected.

With the proliferation of radio stations across the length and breath of the country and the emergence of “twi journalism”, all that is required to practice is some amount of fluency in Twi or English, coupled with a little knowledge in football (not sports), to practice journalism and broadcasting.