Following the just-ended President’s encounter with the media held at the Banquet Hall of the Flagstaff House on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, the president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney, has lashed out at journalists for not being interested in the Right to Information Bill (RTI).
According to him, journalists failed to take advantage of the encounter with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ask about the RTI bill.
He, however, said he was impressed with some questions asked the President which were based on the economy, security, health and corruption that affect everybody in the country.
“Before I state whether I’m happy with the encounter or not, first let me say I’m impressed with some relevant questions, but some journalists asked amateur questions.
“ [At] Such a high profile event, one would have expected more, since not everybody gets the opportunity to speak to the President of the country, so if God grants such opportunities, you should have researched and done your home work. The White’s would say only a good product sells itself,” he told Adom FM in an interview.
He added that earlier that day he listened to a programme hosted by Effia Pokuah on Adom FM , in which a panellist said Ghanaian journalists had scored zero over 10, in terms of asking relevant questions.
“I listened to a commentary by a professor and he said market women would have done better than journalists, and I agree with him,” he said.
“In my candid opinion the high questions were more than the low questions, but because of the way most were framed, all questions were seen to be amateur but I believe journalists did not score zero at all; some asked intelligent questions but framing them was their problem,” he stated.
“Everybody has got a field of specialization. When we come to the field, there are good reporters who might be poor in questioning and vice-versa, so in asking people to go out there, one must be sure to be armed,” he added.
On the RTI bill, Mr Monney said “we belong to the Coalition of the Rights to Information, for 17 years we have had problem with Parliament having to assent that bill into law.
“It’s not only for journalists but for everybody. It will help us because if anything beats our understanding one can get the information he wants. Questions on the Right to Information bill would have covered the mediocre ones,” he said.