Chief criticises Ghanaian media for selling conscience to political parties
The Paramount Chief of Essikadu Traditional Area in the Western Region, Nana Kobina Nketsia, on Thursday criticized the media for selling their conscience to political parties instead of promoting development.
“Your work is not propaganda, yours is to educate, inform and entertain the citizenry with the view of promoting development in the country”, he stressed.
Nana Kobina Nketsia criticised the media at a discussion on the “Role of the Media in Ghana’s Democracy,” organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Takoradi.
It formed part of activities marking the 11th Constitutional Week celebration that was on the theme: “The State of Ghana’s Democracy 2011”.
Nana Nketsia noted that Ghanaian journalists have relegated issues concerning the ordinary people to the background and were focusing on party politics.
He expressed worry that almost every Media house in the country, particularly the private media, were being controlled by one political party or the other, eroding objectivity, fairness and balanced reportage expected of journalists.
Nana Nketsia said: ”Instead of media practitioners talking about issues that really affect us as a people, they rather devote time and space discussing political parties and their quest for power, ignoring issues about our natural resources that are being degraded and taken away by foreign companies”.
He called on journalists to take advantage of freedom of the Media, guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution, to set the right agenda for development.
Mr. Van Boven Swanzy-Essien, a legal practitioner, said the country’s legal framework has promoted journalism but cautioned that the style of governance by the political party in power could strengthen or weaken the Media.
He noted that despite the success chalked out by the Media since 1992, the agenda setting and watchdog roles of some journalists have been compromised.
Mr. Daniel Quayeson, a civil servant, said the repeal of the criminal libel law was gradually becoming a curse to the country.
He explained that some journalists have become reckless and that “The partisan nature of some Media houses is affecting the decision-making process”.
Mrs. Augustina Akumanyi, a Deputy Chairman of the NCCE, called on media practitioners to be honest and objective in the discharge of the duties.