Regional News of Sunday, 2 March 2014
Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area in the Western Region, Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, has deplored the dominance of partisan politics in the Ghanaian media, and has urged media practitioners to ask themselves whose interest they serve.
He said there were several social issues that the media must focus on but they preferred printing and broadcasting politics; “NDC & NPP and anything political, with paid serial callers inundating radio stations with calls here and there.”
Speaking at the 3rd Zonal Media Forum organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), with support from the Canadian High Commission, Nana Nketsiah said media practitioners must know that they are one of the most important tools in the country for national development.
“It is important to note that if those of you who use the media or are the minds behind the media do not have your minds right, you will destroy this country, and if you listen and watch the direction of this country, bad or good, you will realise that media practitioners are responsible,” he said.
Nana Nketsiah said journalists should know they bear a huge responsibility to direct the development of the country and have no business taking sides to propagate the political agenda of one party or the other because the vulnerable masses would be at risk.
“You should ask yourselves that as journalists, in whose interest does the media exist?. Do they exist for NPP or NDC, society or for state bodies such as the NCCE? In which direction is our culture working. Is it in the interest of Ghana?”
He said the likes of him and others in society get apprehensive when a media person approaches, fearing that what they say could be misconstrued and given different interpretations.
“Today, one of the most important things the media should focus on should be social issues- early and forced marriages, environmental degradations and how to shape society for the better,” he said.
“Ask yourselves what happens to the voiceless, or is the media rather joining in the oppression of the voiceless? If the media want Ghana to be better, they must go back to the principle of becoming the voice for the voiceless,” he said.
He said should the media rise above partisanship and speak to issues, Ghana would be a better place than it was today.
For her part, the Chairman of the NCCE, Mrs Charlotte Osei, said many and enormous were the issues facing society such as early and forced marriages, which were very sad and ought to be tackled with all seriousness, but it was sad Ghanaians had failed to live up to expectation .
She said one of the biggest tools for combating those challenges was the use of the media, and that was the reason the commission deemed it right to engage the media at the zonal levels.