The opportunity offered the media to meet and interact with the President is increasingly becoming useless as journalists appear unprepared to ask relevant questions.
The meet-the-press encounter is, therefore, becoming needless and a total waste of the nation’s time.
This according to the Executive Director of The Press Foundation, TPF, Mr. Listowell Yesu Bukarson, is because, “today’s Ghanaian journalist is either not matured, is lazy and or afraid to maximize such rare opportunities because many seemingly are in bed with government”.
“The kind of questions advanced to the president at the encounter yesterday, clearly exposes the depth and intelligence of journalists in Ghana” He laments.
“And this can’t continue”. Mr. Bukarson added.
He said, if this is how journalists would represent the people at such encounters, it’s better for government to call off such opportunities and rather, address the nation occasionally through live broadcasts or organize, and rotate “meet-the-people encounters” at vantage venues within the regions to have a real feel of the stories of the Ghanaian people.
“When journalists encounter the President or any public officer, the first thing that comes to mind is whether he or she is representing the people fairly. But not to just ask arm-chair questions that have no reflection of the feeling of the people on the ground”. Mr. Bukarson added.
“I see, also that most journalists who are in bed with government go to such encounters with prepared questions from the system, just to do the bidding of government instead of representing the people”. He observed.
“This situation is inimical to not just the journalist, but for the government as well, because then the real situation on the ground is not presented to government” Mr. Buakrson added.
“Journalist must get out of their comfort zone; educate themselves ahead of such very important opportunities to serve the people by asking reasonable questions and stop being cheap”. He fumed.
“Why will anybody question the answers provided by the president if journalists asked unintelligent and needless questions” Mr. Bukarson questioned.
“The President is a busy person. He has no time to answer questions in detail. So the media must ask clear, simple and unambiguous questions that will elicit clear and simple and cogent answers”. He added.
“It’s a shame that journalists continue to make a mess of such opportunities to serve the people”. Mr. Bukarson said.
The International Freelance Journalist, however, commended the government for inviting journalist from almost across the country.
“For the first time, I counted journalists from about eight regions across the country at the encounter. Most of these journalists came from not even the regional capitals or the so-called big media houses but they made their presence count and that for me is a great sign towards bettering a lot of the journalism in Ghana” He observed.