Opinions Tue, 20 Aug 2013

Ghanaian Media: Protect nation's stability when Supreme Court delivers judgement

By Kofi Thompson

The days leading up to, and immediately following the 29th August, 2013 pronouncement of judgement on the December 2012 presidential election petition, by the nine Supreme Court judges who heard the matter, will test the maturity of the Ghanaian media and reveal just how patriotic they are.

Truly patriotic journalists - in what is still a developing nation in which there is a great deal of poverty and suffering - must put aside their personal political preferences, at this critical period in our nation's history: as Ghana faces an existential moment, on which hinges the very future of our country.

At such crucial moments, the role of the Ghanaian media is to protect the national interest - which is whatever promotes the welfare of the vast majority of ordinary people in Ghana: as opposed to what will redound to the benefit of a powerful and well-connected few.

That is why when the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on 29th August, 2013, the media in Ghana must insist and demand that all parties involved in the matter, accept the court's decision.

Above all, during the immediate aftermath of the day judgement is pronounced, journalists in Ghana must be guided by the national interest - instead of pandering to political parties and self-seeking politicians.

They must use their fourth-arm-of-government position in the Ghanaian polity, which casts them in the collective role of society's watchdog, to save Ghana from the clutches of those who might want to tip it over the precipice.

If the present generation of journalists in Ghana want to leave a good legacy behind, then at all costs, the Ghanaian media must help protect the nation's stability, when the Supreme Court finally delivers its judgement on the December 2012 presidential election. A word to the wise...

Columnist: Kofi Thompson