For the past few years, I have keenly followed the underlying factors of agenda setting in the Ghanaian media space and by extension, I have followed how discourses in the media space is generated, killed or probably, given prominence.
For the past 3 years, since the assumption of office of the New Patriotic Party, the Ghanaian media is believed to have gone on hibanation on the very things (rot) that had seen prominence and wide reportage under the John Mahama led administration. This thought of biasness on the part of the media, which has been the daily outcry of the people of my darling NDC seems not to be dying anytime soon.
The NDC has constantly spoken and expressed a widespread displeasure on how the media is gradually becoming silent on the monumentally corrupt practices, nepotism, acts of thievery and the consequential economic hardships under the Nana Addo led administration.
At a press soiree by the NDC in the Volta region earlier this year, the NDC spoke highly of how the media is failing to rigorously scrutinize government in bid of ensuring accountability and good governance.
But then, I have this question to ask: How did we get here? How did we get to a point where the media seems to have so much love for the NPP? How about our constant outcry asking CSOs to speak out? How did we get to a point where the once vociferous CSOs have gone silent?
The answers which I know would vary and become debatable, would include our level of investment in the media, our treatment of media persons; journalists and media practitioners while we were in and are out of government.
Following the launch of the 2008 manifesto by Prof. John Evans Atta Mills -of blessed memory, the head of communications for the campaign team Mr. Koku Anyidoho released a statement to thank the media for their support, apparently for the coverage and prominence given to the manifesto launch. The release highlighted parts of the manifesto with promises on principle, regarding the strengthening of the relationship between the NDC and the media.
The key aspect of it goes this way “The career progression and development of journalists will engage the serious attention of the NDC government and a programme of sponsorship of journalists for further training and specialization will be instituted.” Since 2008 till date, how well have we done in this regard?
Prior to the 2016 election, key party activists conducted themselves in a manner that has left scars on the faces of some journalists in this country; this is something we may not want to hear though. In the Volta region, colleagues (journalists) would recount their experience on a Volta/Oti tour with our President John Dramani Mahama, as the reason why they are sad with the NDC. That tour, the issues regarding transport and the reactions from key party persons after the issue came up, is just one of the reasons we are losing our wives in the morning to a scammer in the evening.
As a party, we have failed in not only finding the right way of investing in the media but also, we simply don’t pay attention to how the NPP treats media persons at their events; I think it’s time we take a cue from that.
Our actions and inactions have brought us to a point where the media which is now enjoying so much goodies from a darling night boyfriend, have partially deserted us.
It’s time to heal wounds, invest more in the human resource development of the media and our farms would start yielding better fruits.
Source: Faisel Abdul-Iddrisu