Dialogue to promote decent language on airwaves held

Author: Gracious Akande
Dr Doris Dartey
Dr Doris Dartey

A member of the National Media Commission, Dr Doris Dartey, has encouraged all radio presenters to adopt the ‘old school journalism’ which involves scripting programme before going on air.

That, she said, would prevent presenters from committing blunders that could not be easily retracted.

Dr Dartey made this remark at a Dialogue with Radio presenters and programme hosts, organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in Accra.

The dialogue, which was dubbed, “Issues Not insults”, was aimed at promoting the use of decent language by presenters and issues-based campaigning for peace in the coming elections.

Dr Dartey also urged radio show hosts to ensure that their invited panellists “do not allow their emotions to run wild and make any unnecessary attacks against their counterparts”.

Her admonishment followed the recent unguarded statement made against the Supreme Court by two radio panellists, Alisttair Tairo Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, and the host, Salifu Maase, on Montie Fm.

The three were handed a four-month jail-term after the Supreme Court found them guilty of contempt.

Guidelines and regulations

Speaking on the need for presenters to follow guidelines, the former board chairman of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) said presenters also needed to prepare guidelines for panellists to sign before being allowed to go on air.

These guidelines, she stated, would put them in check and prevent them from using their media house for other purposes. 

Dr Dartey suggested that presenters practiseself-regulation, adding that it was the absence of self-regulation that brought about the downfall of the ‘Montie three’. 

Citing Rwanda as an example based on the genocide that occurred due to hate speech by the media, she urged journalists to be responsible in their reportage.

Training and technology

Dr Dartey also emphasised the need for radio presenters to undergo training before they were recruited to host any show.

“Radio presenters shouldn’t just be hired because they have a good radio voice, sound good or because they speak the local language very well I think there should be training,” she said.

Dr Lartey, therefore, advocated the adoption of the “delayed broadcast system” which is currently being used in advanced countries in radio broadcasts. 

Pawns in a game

The Director of Political Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Remi Ajibewa, appealed to the media not to be pawns in the game of politicians, especially in the build-up to Election 2016.

For his part, the Dean of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana, Professor Kofi Agyekum, urged the presenters to respect people in terms of age, status, rank and gender.

He explained that language, which is a part of culture, is the fundamental factor of disparity between what is termed as an insult and what is not.