Daily Guide Editorial: Unsubstantiated Queries

Media Foundz Media

Wed, 18 May 2016 Source: Dailyguideafrica

Bashing the media is loved by some Ghanaians especially those with a penchant for partisanship. Such attacks disguised as objective criticisms are often done with political lenses: this is unsurprising in a country where the schism between the political traditions is wide and continues to do so.

The conclusions of these self-appointed assessors are often influenced by their political colours, rendering their so-called reports jaundiced and of no value to the development of the media and democracy in the country.

Interestingly, like it happens in the sea where some species of fish feast upon one another, some media houses assess the performance of their competitors to attract attention. They do it so rudely and with hubris that we are unable to tell what they intend achieving by this unnecessary engagement.

Whoever appointed them masters of the industry, we are unable to conjecture at this time. Suffice it to state, however, that their silly activities are informed by the dearth of sufficient stuff to cover the 24-hour day they are supposed to be on air.

Bashing the media is not restricted to politicians whose inappropriate ways hit the public domain through the media but some civil society organisations. One of such organisations has a clear-cut assignment—assessing the performance of the media, a headmaster role which in recent times has seen it stepping on the toes of some industry players.

The Media Foundation For West Africa (MFWA) remains the only civil society organisation whose spotlight is focused solely on the media and its interface with state departments, unlike others which illuminant covers simultaneously political activities vis-à-vis governance issues.

It is claimed to be engaged in assessments which represent remedial interventions. The naming and shaming approach has, however, marginalised the finesse required in such exercises. The drawback has in the end created bad blood between it and the players it claims to be assessing.

We cannot claim to be oblivious of the fact that the assignment the MFWA has arrogated to itself is a minefield: whoever is engaged in this occupation must be as careful as soldiers undertaking a dawn attack in an uncleared mine infested field.

Amplifying so-called unsubstantiated stories in the manner in which the MFWA did in its ‘headmaster’s report’ about media performance cannot be inuring to the development of democracy.

Is the MFWA aware of the toxic contents of some rags tagged newspapers and frequency modulation channels with the penchant for inciting a section of the public to riotous conduct continuing in that order?

Hypocrisy and selectiveness are two factors which can earn an organisation a bad name and rob it of the deference it needs to keep afloat in choppy political waters. Shouldn’t media houses report about lopsided contracts or about bench warrants on Bukom Banku not executed because he is a member of the ruling party? And the assessor regards this as unsubstantiated? An assessment of sorts blimey!

Columnist: Dailyguideafrica