Media must focus on development
On a beautiful warm Wednesday morning in the city of Accra, I had just commenced my 10 days’ leave of absence from work and I decided to listen to radio.
While surfing through the channels, I discovered something intriguing.
Many of the radio stations had just begun their morning shows,a normal programming after the first news presentation. The host for the morning show takes over from the news anchor and starts the newspaper review segment.
Here, the presenter summarises some stories in the day’s edition of the various newspapers which are lined-up on the studio table. Unanticipatedly, most of the stories that made the headlines on the day were political news.
Unenthused, I decided to tune out and switch on the television.
Coincidentally, what I monitored on radio was the same as what I witnessed on the television.
It was the same broadcast routine; news presentation, newspaper reviews, panel discussions and phone-in segments.
Just when I tuned in, the host was about to end the newspaper review segment and had announced the next event; discussion segment.
Out of curiosity, I waited patiently for the introduction of panel members and shockingly, the panellists invited to the studios were three male politicians.
All the other stations I tuned into were the same - discussants made up of representatives from political parties.
The morning show which provides the platform for developmental conversations has now become a political avenue for politicians to market themselves.
Sadly, these politicians are the people whose views are sought on developmental topics.
They are asked questions they have no idea of and suddenly, they have become the experts providing unwanted answers to all important issues.
How long will the media continue to give their platforms to persons whose interests are to harness their personal political ambitions, propagate propaganda and defend reckless actions of their paymasters?
At the newsstands, they have dominated major headlines on the front pages of the print media and they have taken the centre stage of the broadcast media (TV/Radio) discussions. In addition to this, they are the topic for discussions in new media.
Are we not bored of these politicians who justify wrongdoings in such an appalling manner where they believe their only defence is to juxtapose their mistakes to that of their opponents and say, “our mess is better than that of opponents”.
Out of the over 70 radio stations in Accra just a handful do something different with their morning shows which either focus on sports or entertainment.
As a nation, we waste too much time and resources discussing partisan politics which yield little or no results.
We cannot continue to do the same things over and over again and expect any different results.
If the media desire to see development and improve the lives of Ghanaians, they must prioritise the individuals who get the opportunity to be on their platforms.
They must carefully select persons with the requisite expertise and in-depth knowledge of specific topics.
Furthermore, attention should be given to field players who work tirelessly to drive Ghana’s transformational agenda.
Afia Agyapomaa Ofosu,