"Despite" clean up

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 Source: Quaye, Stephen A.


By: Stephen A.Quaye, Toronto-Canada.

In contrast, "Despite Group of Companies" through the management of OK F.M. a sister radio station of Peace F.M. in Accra-Ghana tried to do what it means to pique the interest of its listeners.

What management of OK F.M. did was drawing their listener's attention toward a Peace F.M. website to find an apology text they sent out to Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.

The letter of apology by O.K. F.M. management was in response to numerous calls by its listeners who condemned the attacking behaviour of one of its Radio/TV host Valentina Afia Agyeiwaa or Afia Schwarzenegger on Kennedy Agyapong two weeks ago.

Until the incident happened who knew by heart the structure of management of OK F.M., apart from the phone in numbers, where were the management contact address, telephone numbers as well as email address?

Even if we are giving them the benefit of hindsight, who was the manager of OK F.M. who signed that scanned apology letter which did not look clear and posted it on Peace F.M.?

The point I am trying to make here is that so many companies especially media outlets are operating in the dark without making public their contact addresses as well as their management structure on their websites.

The practice is making it dangerous for business transaction simply because there is no relationship between the management and the general public in anyway.

When someone picks up the phone and calls a radio station, television station or newspaper printing house, the expectation is that a staff will speak to the caller.

But in most cases, that is not what is happening in a lot of media houses where listeners or ordinary persons who want to lodge complaints or ask for corrections are ignored.

In most recorded cases the practice is with the popular radio stations with their jingle priding itself with first with the news best with the news.

A typical example is Okay F.M. which is powerful in the air like its sister station Peace F.M.


However a double check on OK F.M. website will shock you that there is "NO" display of management structure,

talk show hosts, presenters and editors, their contact address to reach them.

Surprisingly, there is no display of postal address, phone numbers to call no email address to get the right person to talk to so where is the relationship between the station and the general public?

Per the international registration law, a media house must have its publisher or owner's name, editors, contact addresses and complaints desk boldly printed at a clear section of the paper or on its website.

Browse British Broadcasting Corporation BBC, Canada Broadcasting Corporation CBC, check the pages of Toronto Star, New York Times and the Guardian and you will see it boldly printed or posted.

When you take the list of the elements of journalism and look at it carefully, you will realize that the last item on the list gives rights and responsibilities to the ordinary person.

For the benefits of readers let me state it here for you to know and it says," Citizens, too have the rights and responsibilities when it comes to the news".

One may think this is wrong since the scouting or gathering of news as well as spreading of it is the sole responsibility of the journalist, editor and the publisher or broadcaster or the web master.

No, the rights and responsibilities of gathering news lay both with journalists and that of the ordinary man on the street as it is emphatically clear.

To make the point clear, read the story as told by Mr. Tom Rosenstiel and Bill Kovach in their book titled "THE ELEMENTS OF JOURNALISM".

According to the story, on July 7, 2005, three bombs exploded in the London subway followed shortly by an explosion on a double-decker bus.

He wrote that the suicide bombings killed fifty-two people in an attack evocative of the 2004 train explosions in Madrid.

The British broadcasting corporation, or BBC, understood that it was a most important story and threw its staff at it trying to get information first and get things right that day.

On that day alone, BBC received unprecedented help from London residents. Six hours after the attack, the organization counted more than 1,000 photographs, twenty video clips, 4,000 text messages and 20,000 emails all sent in by citizens.

How would citizens be able to send in first hand report of what they witnessed suppose there was no phone numbers, email address posted on the organization's webpage?

The same way some members of the public would have either called, send a text message or email to the management to raise red flag over Afia Schwarzenegger's insulting behavior on air that day.

In order for the general public to play their role effectively in gathering news, the media houses should clearly post their contact addresses, staff on their websites.

This is a mandate to serve therefore failure by any media house to comply with should attract penalties from the governing authority.

Having made the points clear, it behooves Despite Group of Companies to make the corrections on its websites as soon as possible to restore the confidence in the general public.


Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.