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Editorial News of Wednesday, 23 February 2005

Source: Harruna Atta Explains

What is "SOLI"?

The Ghanaian media coined the term "Soli" long ago. To be honest, it does not carry with it any baggage of honour, but it has now come to represent one major aspect of Ghanaian media culture.

In strictly ethical considerations, there is no other meaning to it besides bribery. A journalist goes to cover an assignment and is given an envelope containing wads of money to "help with your transport". This "help" takes several forms.

Sometimes a lunch or a dinner is thrown in as an enticement for a "coverage" or "participation".

Indeed, even the rather respectable sounding "encounters" I used to attend are fully paid affairs - not by journalists - but by their hosts or other sponsors - where you eat and drink to your fill and listen to a talk by a guest speaker.

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