Dear Editor, could you please offer me a space in your highly rated news paper to express my dissatisfaction on the way and manner some journalists of this country discharges their duties in recent past having forgotten the fact that they are the mirror of the good citizens of Ghana and that whatever they say or write incites their listeners, viewers and readers. One may ask who then is a Journalist?
To the best of my knowledge a journalist is someone whose job is to report the news for newspapers, magazine, radio program or television programmes. It means a journalist is more or less an educator to its listeners and viewers and that it will be suicidal on his/her part to feed the public with wrong information. It is important for a journalist to use his/her weapon that is a warrant of truth in discharging his duties to the good citizens of Ghana. News by journalist on radio and television spread faster than messages preached by ministers of the gospel on pulpit and crusade grounds and as such a journalist must do thorough investigations on reports he/she receives from all quarters before he/she brings it out for public consumption. A journalist must make sure truth outweighs lies in his/her chosen profession. Even at the point of death or in the lion?s den he/she must hold forth the banner of truth.
If the above definition of journalism is accepted by all and sundry then some of the so called journalists do not qualify to be called journalist because they have adopted their different style different from what is required by a journalist. It is against this background that I refer to as self-styled journalist (WEEDS)
These self-styled journalists attitude make journalism looks unattractive to the future generation who had the enthusiasm of becoming journalist to serve mother Ghana. It beats my imagination to see a professional journalist who has to preach a word of peace that will unite the good people of Ghana in his selfish interest allows himself to be used by some political leaders to write bad things about the good people of the nation. Our destiny is unknown to us but God knows who we will be in future and every circumstance of our lives is a tool in the hand of God and if some self-styled journalists think writing bad things about someone will make who God says he will be proved fiasco then they are living in the fool?s paradise. There is an old adage which says ?If you throw a ball on a wall it bounces back to you?
It saddens my heart hearing from an unprofessional journalist coming out publicly to tell the president he was used by the previous government to write bad things. Surprisingly the same person he was hired to tarnish his image offered him an opportunity to travel with him abroad and he accepted it. There is a saying that those who know their destination never get lost. To which destination is Ghanaian journalism heading to?
The scripture clearly says ?we should be quicker to hear but slower to talk? and that using someone?s reputation to satisfy our selfish gains is evil, unfair and serious crime against humanity. There is also an adage which says ?the hen knows when the day is approaching but it waits for the cock to announce the new day?. I do not have any problem if he was been pardoned by the ?president but my worry is that if what he wrote about the president had caused his ?death or failure to win ?the presidency would he be bold enough ?to come out and apologize to him?
Journalists who allow themselves to be used by some politicians to tarnish other people?s image should put themselves in the shoes of those people. These stomach journalists who open their doors for some political leaders to use them must remember the seat of the government is not their property. The scripture says in proverbs 19 verse 5 ? A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free. Also proverbs 13 verse 10-11 clearly says ?pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. I would like the perceived weeds who are satisfied to be called rented journalist to learn a lesson from what happened to their colleague who nobody came into his mouth to tell Ghanaians he was used by the previous government to write bad things to tarnish the image of his Excellency Pro. Fiifi Atta Mills the president of the republic of Ghana in the 2008 elections.
These self-styled journalists are interested in making a white black because of money. The scripture says in Proverb 22 verse 1-4 ??A good name is more desirable than great riches , to be esteemed is better than silver or gold, Rich and poor? have this in common: The Lord is the maker of them all. A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth, honour and life.? and as such they must try as much as possible to discharge their duties in accordance with the code and ethics of their chosen profession so that the future generation will have enthusiasm of becoming journalist of mother Ghana. I must say I am highly disappointed in the kind of journalism I am witnessing in Ghana in recent times by these self-styled journalists who are exhibiting journalism of lies and exaggeration. The way and manner these self-styled journalist go about their duties could lead our beloved and only country in disarray. I mean those hosting programs on radio and TV who pave way for people to use their medium to insult or tarnish other peoples image are doing more harm than good to their viewers and?? listening public because they are much more interested in the education about how Ghana can move forward after 55years of independence from our colonial masters and not how hot their programms were to their listeners and viewers. The scripture says in Proverbs 17 verse 19 ?he who loves a quarrel loves sin: he who builds a high gate invites destruction.
They should not forget countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, La Cote divoire and many other war torn countries were much more peaceful and enjoyable than Ghana and yet hell broke in those countries. Have these self-styled journalists taking their precious time to find out what caused the Rwandans to fight each other?
These self-styled journalists always say Ghana is peaceful and a Christian country and who says countries who have witnessed brutal wars were not a Christian country?
Our self-styled journalists who allow some politicians to use their medium to inflict insults on some highly respected politicians of this country must put mother Ghana first so that the good people of Ghana will continue to enjoy the peace God has offered us. How on earth should a journalist who has had the greatest opportunity to ask the president pressing issues such as food security, STS deal and unemployment problems and how best the president would be able to solve them to the satisfaction of the good people of Ghana at the meet the press forum rather wanted to please the president by telling him Hon. Kyei Mensah Bonsu is found of insulting him on radio and TV anytime he? gets the chance? knowing very well our president said all the sweat we saw on his face attest to the fact that no where is cool. If I may ask, what did he expect the president to say at that time to insult his own son Kyei Mensah Bonsu?
Unfortunately the president also admitted his son the minority leader has been going about insulting him and he has already forgiving him. If I may ask, Can this journalist be bold enough to go to any palace in Ghana and tell a king someone says you are a fool and go unpunished? It is a pity when you see people who should preach peace and unity to prevail among us tries to disunite a humble and respected son from his beloved father. Is it because Hon. Kyei Mensah Bonsu always criticizes his Excellency the president of the republic of Ghana that is why he is tagged by a journalist as a stubborn child who never respects his president? Has any Ghanaian seen a majority leader of a ruling party criticizing his president before in the political history?
It is even good to be criticized because when you are moving forward and something is going on at your back you will not see it unless the person following you from your back tells you there is something going on at your back. Criticism is meant to strengthen and straighten us and not to destroy us and as such we have to accept it in good faith and move forward. The scripture clearly says in Proverbs 16 verse 24-29 ?pleasant words are a honeycomb sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. The labourer?s appetite works for him: his hunger drives him on. A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A perverse man stirs up dissension and a gossip separates close friends. A violent man entices his neighbour and leads him down a path that is not good. The tongue has power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruits. There is an old adage which says ?the rod that was used to hit Tachie it is the same rod that will be used to hit Baah some day?. Nowadays some self-styled journalists who host programs on air allow serial callers to use their medium to say all sorts of lies and insults on our political leaders because of their political affiliations. These self-styled journalists know very well the words some serial callers use on their programs? are not good for public consumption but will not stop them because they feel those harsh words they use makes their programs very hot and attractive to the listening public. If care is not taken, these self-styled journalists will take Ghanaian journalism to a point of no return.
In the light of the above heart beating problem that is why I am appealing to the Ghana Journalist Association authorities to organize frequent refresher courses to our journalist to enable them discharge their duties diligently and above expectation of the good people of Ghana. I am saying this because the painstaking research I have conducted reveals that countless number of Ghanaian youths do not want to become journalist because of the bad picture these self-styled journalist have painted about journalism in Ghana. I would like to take this little opportunity to commend our journalists who are doing a yeoman?s job to create good name for journalism in Ghana. Most especially to Mr. Kwame Sefa Kai in his campaign to generate money for patients with kidney problems. Randy Abbey, Paul Adom Okyere, Kwaku Barko, Shamima, Koo Bawuah Boronsamfo, Kwame Adinkra, Ohene Gyan, Captain Smart,Agya Owusu, Kwasi Platt and many others.
BY: MICHAEL ?KESSEY