Saturday, 16 January 2016


Am not a journalist and perhaps the closest I have come to being a journalist is my dad teaching communication studies and being friends with Derrick Ekow Sam and Kwakye Afreh Nuamah both of joy fm. This paper will look like an attack on joy fm but it represents my genuine disappointment in the current media landscape of our country. I will ask management of joy fm and other media personnels who will be affected by this paper to treat it as genuine concern expressed by a listener.

News file, the news analysis show by joyfm has been running for probably older than I am. I enjoyed the show from my childhood days even though I didn't understand the discussions that went on. My parents listening to news file Saturday mornings always helped me to buy some free time Saturday mornings since very few things could take their attentions from the radio. This increased my love for the show.

Am a bit old now and I am able to understand the issues I hear on radio. My own love for news file was unflinching which will probably be as a result of my childhood days. News file is indeed the most authoritative news analysis show like they say but the show lacks one thing which is objectivity. That has always been my problem with the show. Even though the show occasionally  dedicate some time to interview professionals on some issues, it has dominantly used politicians as it's panel members thus turning the show into an extended parliament house.

I have tried to contain it even though the practice upsets me, but last Saturday's edition the 9 day of January, 2016 did not only disappoint me but it also broke my heart. I was surprised that a critical issue of security such as whether or not to accept alleged former terrorist detainees from the Guantanomo bay was left to the mercy of Ursula Owusu and Abraham Amaliba to analyse. This is not to downplay their ability to analyse the issue but their political orientation did not allow them to bring out the true substance of the issue.

Like news file every other radio station in Ghana has programs that are dominated by political panellists. It is very sad that the media which is supposed to give out information in the form of objective and experts analysis of issues have become an extended parliament house or political party headoffices. Some media houses are even openly branded as being the official mouth piece of political parties.

Sometimes you hear some people on radio and you wonder why and who gives them the airtime, because some of these guys do not even understand the most basic form of logic and analytical thinking yet media houses allow them pass on their ignorance to do many other people. I just don't understand why we allow ourselves to be ridiculed like that but whatever it is, it is very shameful.

There are some people whom I do not know how they qualify to be called journalists. It actually looks like the only thing journalistic about them is the name of the profession they are abusing and drag into disrepute. I will not say anything about “soli” and stomach journalism because I don't want to venture into issues of speculations.

My thoughts 
I have a strong feeling that our media is failing us woefully. I am very sure that Kweku Baako, Kwesi Pratt and the rest who suffered for media freedom in Ghana are sad about the media developments. It's shocking that at a time that we have more media houses which should call for proper shows due to competition, we rather see the opposite.
This is not to say that we should totally take politicians out of our media setting, but it is very important to consider substance and objectivity before giving politicians the opportunity to use any media platform. We should use experts to analyse issues for the many who are willing to use the media as an information and learning tool to benefit from it. I listened to the BBBs analysis of president Obama's call for America to find a permanent cure for cancer and my heart was at peace. There were four different medical researchers from across the world coming together to analyse the situation.
I think that certain issues should be left to experts to solely talk about and afterwards no politician should be brought in to discuss it. The reason is that the politician has a prejudice so even though they may have the knowledge, the issue will be distorted.
This is not to fully condemned the media as not working at all. Indeed some media houses have done well and served our country well over the years and need commendations. The same joy fm I am talking about today has over the years been one of Ghana's best radio stations producing great journalists who are able to compete on the international setting.
Going forward I would like the media houses to know that we in a democratic environment and things of political party issues will arise but let's not give all our attention to politics. It does not help our country to grow.

Now back to news file. I would like the management of the station to know that like myself, not everyone is interested in hearing people always taken entrenched positions about issues. Some of us genuinely want to use it as a learning tool and thus the need to work on it.

Like I said early news file is a perfect news analysis show but lacks objectivity so kindly work on it.

Samuel Koomson

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