Media and politics: The influence against accuracy

Media Accuracy File Photo

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 Source: Rachael Omeife

Media houses in Ghana have got it wrongfully figured out. Most are bought leaving the citizenry confused.

The soul of any nation is its people; how well they feel secured and respected in the state they inhabit. Hence, the very solace of the deprived is a 'voice'; Being heard by societal gentries with the capacity to better their lives through decisions based primarily on accurate information. Over the years in Ghana, some media houses have served as "party paraphernalia" corroborating with party interests towards the maximization of support for political power.

Media houses have purport half truths; information are spread with no backing facts thereby wrongfully skewing decisions of voters.., a medium for politicians to infest people with the "political virus"; defined as a condition where politicians give 'falsified' details or data to win massive votes. This further messes up the country when given the mandate because they can't help, but forgo promises made with flawed facts. The media is often categorised as the fourth arm of government due to its undeniable influence to state growth. As such, media houses should be free from political influence.

This would promote the availability of untainted information to the citizenry and secure the media from political lies. Nevertheless, the Ghanaian populace to a very large extent have lost confidence in the media to provide unbiased information because, media houses in Ghana have publicly aligned themselves to a particular party, where they promote 'every' information necessary to merit public support for its candidate whether such details are flawed or not. This must be stopped. For how long can Ghana survive the dread of a war if its citizens are divided into equal halves with each segment fed with information they want to hear - a collision is imminent.

It is depressing to tune in to radio stations for knowledge on state's condition only for them to propagate biased information. What happened to objectivity?; Why are citizens denied the freedom to make decisions based on objective facts? The right to information bill should be passed to give full force to article 21(f) of the Ghanaian constitution, which guarantees every person the right to information subject to such qualification as are necessary in any democratic process. Parliament can do better than feet drag this bill as experienced for years. It is with great expectation that the incumbent NPP government fulfill their promise of enforcing it.

Nevertheless, failure for such enforcement should not be surprising since parties constantly take advantage of the media's ignorance to spread exaggerated facts and under such condition, the Ghanaian democracy should never be considered functional. For what is the freedom of expression without the right to information? It is no different from opening a community library yet preventing entry. Freedom without guaranteed access to information is no freedom at all. As such,

The media should do well to put pressure on government to see the enforcement of this vital bill, it is then and only through then that the media would be in a positive direction towards liberation from party lies. Media houses should also undertake intelligent research before circulating sensitive information. Establishing a neutral body to act as a check on the media is not enough, but NMC( Nation Media Commission) should be effective in its function of preventing governmental interference on the media.

Blogs and media houses should be closed down for direct political affiliation and also constantly sued for sharing flawed information not necessarily by the victim of slander but by the state. Protecting the future of Ghana should be a topmost priority and saving its soul should not be the least. The Media Must Be In Check!

Columnist: Rachael Omeife