The toxic discourses must end
The toxic discourses must end

The toxic discourses must end

Many concerns have been expressed about the level of insults that we have been witnessing on the airwaves, especially since the advent of the Fourth Republic.


 Unfortunately this state of affairs seems not to be dying down, as the political insults are rather growing day by day.

The latest personality to add her voice to the concerns is a Professor of English Language at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh, who has cautioned against the country’s discourse gradually becoming toxic, and has called for a conscious effort to readjust towards positive engagements.

She said that was necessary considering that the norms of respect and courtesies were crucial for impactful engagements for personal and collective national identity and growth as Ghanaians.

Professor Edu-Buandoh was delivering her inaugural lecture on “Discourses of our Times: Power, Norms of Language Use and Identity Formation” at the UCC last Tuesday.

The Daily Graphic agrees with the views expressed by the professor that national discourses full of insults were a reflection of a negative national identity and that wherever we use language as a people we are constructing an identity. 

We do not think it is in the interest of any citizen and the country as a whole to be linked to public insults and derogatory speeches. 

It is rather sad that our political actors seem to compete among themselves in insults. How could adults who are supposed to know better and lead by example reduce themselves to the level of raining insults and attacking one another in the name of politics!

Interestingly, the very politicians who indulge in such despicable acts are many times the people who also come out to condemn the practice.
It is clear that the many calls on these supposed rational and mature adults to end these insults and intemperate language have fallen on deaf ears.

Unfortunately some of these party people who are noted for raining insults on their opponents have been rewarded with party positions or opportunities, which give the wrong impression that there is nothing wrong with insults. 

Be that as it may, many young ones are gradually copying what they see and hear on the airwaves and are perpetuating this behaviour.

The Daily Graphic thinks it is about time this canker was nipped in the bud, especially in the media, as currently the practice has escalated to the presidential level.

We call for mutual respect in our interactions as a people to safeguard our time-tested tradition of respect for one another that has kept the country united after over 67 years of independence.

The sad thing is that media houses manned by professionals who have been trained in how to communicate have been the ones spearheading this practice over the years.

It is about time the media did a self-introspection to weed out the bad lots that are perpetrating politics of insults. One wonders what has happened to the cardinal principles of objectivity, fairness, facts checking, truth and accuracy that underpin media practice that are studied in our communication and journalism schools.

For sure it is gradually getting to a point where the cornerstone of journalism ethics is being sacrificed on the altar of personal and political expediency and vendetta.

Media practitioners, especially those who host programmes, must immediately begin to salvage their profession by removing guests and callers who spew all manner of insults in the name of political discussions. 

The Daily Graphic also entreats the media, leadership at all levels to immediately address this canker because where people feel respected and valued we will all unreservedly contribute our quota to national development.

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