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Opinions of Thursday, 21 April 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Ghana Media have Failed, and Continue to Fail, Ghanaians

After close monitoring over a long period of time, I have no choice but to come out publicly with my unpalatable, but honest, views formed about the Ghana media. Telling the truth hurts but in the end it brings comfort.

In every successful nation in the world, especially in those countries where democracy is practiced, with democracy being the cardinal pivot on which their governance revolves, the media have always played a vitally indispensable role. Without the media playing a responsible role, democracies could gradually turn into autocracies and dictatorships with the eventual collapse of all the institutions in the country to the detriment of the majority of their citizens.

In Ghana, from my empirical observations, our media have not been nationalistic enough but rather selfish, greedy and myopic. They have variously been pursuing agenda that are neither in the best interest of the majority of the people nor the country itself.

Most of the media houses, especially the programme presenters, have let their stomach gone before them to influence what they write, say or discuss.

It is a fact that Ghana is sinking socio-economically under President Mahama and his current NDC government yet, some programme presenters and media houses are offering them strong and unflinching support regardless of the absurdities and harmfulness of most of their policies and actions.

For clearly putting square pegs in round holes, thus, filling key government positions with obviously incompetent people all in the name of the people coming from his northern extraction, being his cronies or family members, being affiliated to the NDC party, etc., does not augur well for the development of a country like Ghana. People should be appointed to positions on merit but not on the basis of whom you know or which tribe you come from or belong to.

When such a rogue policy is being pursued and implemented by the government, in any civilized country with strong media worthy of their profession, the policy will be challenged by them until changes for the better have been made. This is because such a policy is very injurious to the nation and the people therein. However in Ghana, the media rather support and encourage the perpetuation of such damaging government policies all because of what they stand to gain individually as programme presenters or as separate media houses.

The media think they are there for money, having been established by sole proprietors or private investors with profit maximising as their main objective or goal so they don’t care how they make their money. If it is by supporting the government blindly that they will be able to earn their expected money, so be it. They lack ethics!

Chinese nationals have flocked to the country. They are illegally involved in surface mining (galamsey) that is inflicting irreparable damage to the country’s ecosystem. They are destroying our rural landscape, water bodies, and leaving in their trail dangerously dug-out holes into which some people have fallen and died.

Do the media not have the ethical responsibility to protect the populace by constantly hammering on the disastrous effects of the actions or activities by these Chinese? By constantly alerting the nation to the long term damage being caused to the people and the nation, our corrupt and visionless political leaders and traditional chiefs may be compelled to throw out the Chinese, or put a stop to their dangerous activities.

When most of our big and small rivers are being polluted at an alarming rate by the uncontrolled exploitative activities by the Chinese, our media refuse to take them on.

I have heard that rivers like Densu, Prah and numerous other rivers and streams have been spoiled beyond redemption by the Chinese and other galamsey owners and operatives.

Do we indeed know and understand the relevance of water bodies in the survival of human existence? The climate is controlled or determined by water bodies and forests yet; we are looking on like fools without brains in our heads while foreigners come into our country in droves to damage the very factors that support our very existence as human beings, in Ghana.

Without water, how can we survive as a people or a nation? Why are the media not taking the government on in defence of Ghanaians who under the current government have become voiceless and defenceless?

Money is not the end of everything but being of service to your nation and people in critical times counts a lot.

When I listen to some radio presenters and programme panellists like Adakabre, Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie and Kwesi Pratt Jnr, I shake my head in disbelief. I ask myself, has Ghana got any future with these selfishly evil characters in the media service? They seek only their selfish ends; how to acquire more money, fame and power.

In case they condone and connive with the current corrupt President and government in Ghana to deplete the coffers of the country while all others perish out of hunger and poverty, what will it profit them?

We have a few personalities in the media who deserve commendation. People like Ms Afua Pokua alias Vim Lady and Captain Smart are upholding the ethics of their journalism profession. They are honest. They take neutral ground in dissemination of their programmes. They take on erring politicians all in defence of the nation. They are rendering credible service to the nation and to the people of Ghana.

I hope other journalists; radio programme presenters/hosts will emulate the sterling efforts or qualities of these two mentioned persons.

Let me emphasize to those within the media who are helping to destroy the nation that there is no place like home. And if the back of your teeth is bitter, it is there that you lick. They should not think that if they help to destroy Ghana, they can take their family to go and stay abroad. No, Ghanaians overseas are not taking it easy. They, like other foreigners, have become victims of racism.

Many countries are fed up with immigrants and the politics of xenophobia is gaining currency in most Western Countries. Therefore, those Ghanaian journalists helping President Mahama to spoil the country should not think they can in future escape abroad to enjoy their illegally acquired wealth in peace. No, they will have to deal with xenophobia.

Finally, our media must note that they have instrumental role to play in shaping Ghana for the collective interests of all, rather than pursuing their selfish parochial interests.

Rockson Adofo