Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A certain Baby Ansabah.

I have heard so many things this week. Some relate to journalists, others relate to Ghana’s participation in the just ended Angola 2010 and an MP irresponsible musings. As some of you may have read, a chap called ‘Baby Ansaba, a newspaper editor of a certain ‘Punch’ has been making some revealing confessions. He is reported to have confessed most of the stories he wrote against the current president, then a candidate, were fabricated.

He admitted his conscience has not allowed him to be free especially when the very president he wrote the false report about was generous enough to offer him a travelling opportunity to the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago.
I couldn’t agree with him more when Kwame Karikari of the media foundation for West Africa described him as a ‘fraud.’ I sincerely associate myself fully with his statement. Those seen as icons in the journalism field have today become nothing but bootlickers.

When Kufour was President a little over eight years ago, several journalists who had never even written a story before found where their note pads were, and jumped to cover the assignments. Some even had had their birthdays celebrated for them on such trips. Especially in far off Japan, one of such praise singers and bootlickers got Mr. Kufour to organise a birthday bash for him.

The newsstand is washed with sea of newspapers-some of them simply crap. They churn out nothing but garbage. I remember even at the time that I was living in the ghettos and attending nature’s call in the open and even at public toilets; I relied heavily on the use of newspapers to wipe the ‘shit’ off.
I’m not sure any of these papers in the system will even have the privilege of mine using them to wipe off the ‘shit.’

Today on several radio stations, hangers-on have stripped themselves off objectivity and are doing their master’s bidding. They parade ‘official’ documents around and defend the government or opposition parties with vigour than appointed state officials. They are the unofficial spokespersons.

Mr. Ansabah was pissed with Kufour for not travelling with him on those 187 trips despite using his brains and energies to destroy his opponents –notably the current president. I remember somewhere in 2004, a newspaper that is in bed with the then opposition and now in government described sitting President Kufour as ‘Mad.’ I felt sorry for the headline and the reporters who work under the editor.
Similar things were also said about Jerry Rawlings and now Mills. They destroy their political opponents with vigour and passion.

Caution or ethics has been thrown to swines.

People are calling for his expulsion but I doubt if the Ghana Journalist Association, the main supervision body, has the solid pairs to take action against this man. Is yellowish journalism not the norm in the Ghanaian side of the profession today? Check the headlines of most newspapers today and what their slants are.

The GJA itself has been pushed to an awkward corner partly because it sat down and watched especially in the past and even presently, while complete rubbish, in the name of ‘objective’ reports, was and continue to be published by a ‘bad’ number of media houses. On Monday afternoon I had the privilege of listening to a newspaper review programme on ‘Asempa’ Fm’s’ ‘Eko See Sen, a late afternoon show.

’The station is one of the fleets under the multi-media family of Joy Fm, Adom Fm, Nyhira, Luv and now Multi-TV. One of the papers the host of the programme reviewed was a certain ‘Daily Searchlight.’ The paper had published names of people its purported to be Ewes who have been given governments appointment. The paper mentioned several people it claimed were Ewes who had been handed out positions because of their tribe-Ewes.

Out of parochialism and pettiness the paper, without cross-checking the facts, included in the ‘Ewe list’ persons who have no Ewe connection. It was a dangerous piece of journalism, for my mind. The Rwanda experience is still fresh in our minds and I’m surprise how Ghanaian journalists have quickly forgotten that. The story of Rwanda is there and I don’t intend to bother you, my friends.

Inasmuch as I blame the paper for this useless piece of journalism that has serious ramification for the destiny of this country, I also fault the editorial department of Asempa Fm. The little I know from this profession, since taking up this columnist job, is the exercise of editorial discretion over stories that are brought to the news room for publications.

I have seen the editorial management of this paper throw away or even called reporters to defend stories they have written before finally landing in the main publication. That is what I call responsible journalism for nation development.
And here, Asempa Fm woefully failed to do that. In their quest to achieve sensationalism, just like the newspaper, the station went ahead to review the paper, a toxic reportage as such. The buyer of the stolen goods is as guilty as the thief, we are often told. The station blatantly went ahead and reviewed the paper just to create sensationalism.

Radio is a powerful and whatever use it’s put into, the results are always enormous; positive and negative. But does anyone blame the likes of Asempa Fm? It’s common to find all manner of characters mounting radio platforms and just speaking ‘by heart.’ I hope for once the Ghana Journalist Association will show enough pairs and call to order members are gradually taking this country into the abyss.

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