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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Columnist: Appiah-Yeboah, Kwame

Webmassa, Editorial Policy Please

I want to by this publication bring to the attention of the whole world the lack of an editorial policy regarding feature articles on Ghanaweb. This may be an oversight, ignorance, irresponsibility, or may be a misguided attempt by Webmassa to exercise Gestapo style control over the topics and contents of feature articles.

Before I go any further, I want to applaud the thoughts that went in creating Ghanaweb and in providing a medium for Ghanaians to express themselves. As the adage goes in Ghana, ?..when one does a good deed, he deserves to be praised.? Akoto well done!

Now let?s get back to my beef about the lack of an editorial policy. The lack of a comprehensive editorial policy prominently displayed on Ghanaweb for all and sundry opens up the Webmassa to all sorts of speculative allegations. For instance the government of Ghana has been peeved at numerous feature articles on Ghanaweb. Opponents and allies have at different times accused Webmassa of bias, hidden agenda, mischief, etc based on posted articles. The presence of the disclaimer ?Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage? is not a substitute for an editorial policy. The recent furor created by the article on Per Diems by William Antwi Aka Bafo was made worse by the lack of an editorial policy.

I was rudely made aware of the lack of an editorial policy by the refusal of Webmassa to publish a feature article I had written about Dr. Beautiful Ahoofe, PhD. Webmassa has published and continue to publish articles from Dr. Ahoofe. I have found some of the articles denigrating, castigating and insulting to the person of former president JJ Rawlings. I wrote a feature article doing exactly the same to Dr. Ahoofe, which Webmassa refused or has refused to publish. Courtesy demands that Webmassa replies to my email and inform me why he is not publishing my article. In the absence of that, posting of a comprehensive editorial policy on Ghanaweb outlining how articles are selected for publication would suffice. This policy would also outline what is acceptable and what is not acceptable for publication. That is, if Dr. Ahoofe can belittle Rawlings, a former president and statesman, then why can?t I do the same to him, a mere professor at a third rate Community College? I am sure Dr. Ahoofe would appreciate the feedback on his feature articles.

The presence of an editorial policy will silence most of the critics of Ghanaweb and ensure fairplay (to some extent). That is all articles would be judged by the same standard (editorial policy); not some non-existent standard based on the mood and whims of the Webmassa. If Webmassa needs help in coming out with an editorial policy, I am more than willing to help. Also, if Webmassa refuses to publish this article, then I will assume that there is indeed a hidden agenda.

Kwame Appiah-Yeboah
USA


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.