Eh, Chewing Insults Like Gum?

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 Source: Quaye, Stephen A.

From: Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada.

Expression of opinions by Ghanaians through various medium in the country has been described as very powerful these days in the democratic governance.

These days, you see many people rushing to post their opinions about issues on newspapers, radio, television stations and other websites as well as read other persons opinions in order to have a common understanding of issues.

In reality, it should be said that is healthy since it creates the opportunity for everyone to express his opinions on issues streamlining them before the chief executive of the land finally taking a decision on them.

Some contributors have appeared disciplined in presenting their ideas on issues posted on these websites explaining why they disagree with authors or agree with them without using foul language against anybody.

Others have also appeared very filthy by rubbishing any idea posted by authors using very bad language which makes one to ask whether they are truly Ghanaians or just faceless human beings hiding behind unacceptable dirty politics to insult people.

Formerly the duty of the journalist was to scout for the news and feed members in the community and that was all. But the world has got to the stage where the masses are also allowed to share their opinions about issues taking place in their communities thereby making democracy give and take affair.

Radio stations, newspapers as well as television stations have provided websites where people can also pass comments about issues by authors or news items presented by that media where some people are doing well by sharing good ideas.

Before, people were not prepared to read other person’s comments because some of the comments do not touch on the issues raised therefore not prepared to read comments that will not educate them the more on issues.

Until I adopted the idea of building my own portfolio by developing articles for postage on various media websites, it was a lazy thing for me to read other persons comments or reactions to features, news items and opinions because of the dirty words some people use in their comments which are so filthy.

But I developed the habit of reading comments to opinions, features and news items when I realized that I havetodoso especially those that my such pieces attracts and see where I went wrong to correct them next time or see where commendations were made and build on better.

Geese’s, I said to myself when I developed series of articles and were posted on Ghana web where almost all the comments that came were hard insults directed at me the author. It was only in few occasions that certain sensible readers pointed out little mistakes out to me for correction or did not agree with me but expressed them in decent language.

Then I asked myself, is this respect shown by every Ghanaian that I use to know of or things have changed? Anybody getting up, grabbing the phone, call radio station and insult leaders of the country, chiefs and elders of the land, the clergy and innocent persons for just expressing their opinions on issues?

It was not surprising that Joy F.M. has to come out and warn the general contributors to the station to abstain from posting dangerous and insulting comments against certain dignified personalities who expressed their opinions on matters arising.

It could be recalled that when the tension arose between the chief of Tuobodom and Tekyimanhene which got heightened to attract Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s comment, certain people posted bad comments in bad language making the executives of the radio station to warn that if people did not have anything to say, should stop posting insulting comments about people.

As if this warning was going to stop that bad behavior in certain contributors, rather more of such behaviors are exhibited everyday making others to wonder whether there is discipline in the country at all.

There should not be any blame game here since that will not solve any problem. But if one will ask me who is not doing his work well, I will point my fingers at the various media houses who are allowing this canker to eat deep in our Ghanaian fabric.

They are to ensure that certain mechanisms are put in place to filter comments that comes into their website so that those that are without insults only are posted there.

One may disagree with author’s expression about an issue and would be posted there provided the comments are in decent language. You will never read a comment on CNN, CBC or BBC website where those carrying F word, Sword are accepted and posted there at all not even on Modern Ghana website so why the rest are not complimenting the effort of these media houses to keep discipline in our medium.

It is time Ghanaians accepted that opinions are like noses and that everyone has one therefore when my opinion does not go your way does not mean you have to insult me but rather come out with yours so that we will discuss them and take those ones that are accepted.

But this could only be done when the various media houses accept that they have to exercise control over what goes out to the public from their centre are decent then we could beat our chest that we are doing what is right of us.

Chewing insults like gum by certain people over issues they raise is not Ghanaian and even the western world that we blame them of have certain laws that are guarding against such behaviors therefore why can’t we also do something?

Let every Ghanaian avoid the practices of chewing insults like gum because it does not preach peace and unity among people whiles it makes meaningless freedom of expression.


Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.