Feature Article of Thursday, 2 August 2012
Columnist: Thompson, Kofi
- An Indictment of Officialdom?
By Kofi Thompson
Not too long ago, I was invited (summoned would probably be the most appropriate word, I guess) by the executive secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), to appear before him, in connection with a newspaper title registered at the NMC by me.
Apparently the NMC had received complaints about a front-page photograph in a newspaper, the title of which, though registered by me with the NMC, was in fact a publication I actually had nothing to do with, whatsoever.
As Providence would have it, when I went to see the NMC's executive secretary, I had not (and incidentally still haven't - even as we speak) been able raise the funding necessary to enable me start publishing the National Review newspaper that I had registered with the NMC.
Since I refuse to accept funding that comes attached with strings that entail losing editorial independence, I will have to find an innovative way to set my multi-media publishing company up, which ensures editorial independence.
That will enable my National Review to fight for the national interest at all material times, and be independent politically. It is a work in progress, dear reader.
This being Ghana, some of the few people who have seen my concept paper for that multi-media project, have turned around to steal parts of it. Par for the course, naturally.
And in a byzantine society, in which the third-rate often do incredibly well - simply because they are well-connected - such characters often act with complete impunity and get away with a great deal - including counterfeiting newspapers that might even possibly endanger national security someday.
Yet, such is the power wielded by the media in a free society, such as ours, that when it comes to what many consider to be the fourth branch of government, in a constitutional democracy, the state must never countenance criminal behaviour in the media - such as the fraudulent use of registered newspaper titles by the criminally-minded.
With respect, the question I would like the NMC, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI)and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, to answer, is: Are they waiting for the criminal minds abusing freedom of expression in such egregious fashion - as is the case with that bogus National Review - to publish an abomination that might set our nation aflame, before they finally move to arrest those nation-wreckers now being allowed to get way with that monstrosity?
The continued failure to arrest those behind the counterfeit so-called National Review newspaper, is an indictment of officialdom - in this particular instance the NMC, the BNI and the CID. Pity.
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