On a beautiful warm Wednesday morning in the city of Accra, I had just commenced my ten-day leave of absence from work and I decided to listen to the radio. While flipping through the channels, I discovered something intriguing.
Many of the radio stations had just begun their morning shows; normal programming after the first news presentation. The host for the morning show takes over from the news anchor and starts the newspaper review segment. Here, the presenter summarizes some stories in the day’s edition of the various newspapers which are lined up on the studio table. Unanticipatedly, most of the stories that made the headlines on the day were political news.
Unenthused, I decided to tune out and switch on the television. Coincidentally, what I monitored on radio was the same as what I witnessed on television. It was the same broadcast routine; news presentations, newspaper reviews, panel discussions and phone-in segments. Just when I tuned in, the host was about to end the newspaper review segment and had announced the next event; the discussion segment.
Out of curiosity, I waited patiently for the introduction of panel members and shockingly, the panellists invited to the studios were three male politicians. All the other stations I tuned into were the same – discussants made up of representatives from political parties.
The morning show which provides the platform for developmental conversations has now become a political avenue for politicians to market themselves. Sadly, these politicians are the people whose views are sought on developmental topics. They are asked questions they have no idea of and suddenly, they have become the experts providing unwanted answers to all important issues.
How long will the media continue to give its platforms to persons whose interests are to harness their personal political ambitions, propagate propaganda and defend reckless actions of their paymasters?
At the newsstand, they have dominated major headlines on the front pages of the print media, and they have taken the centre stage in the broadcast media (TV/Radio) discussion. In addition to this, they are the topic for discussion in new media.
Are we not bored of these politicians who justify wrongdoings in such an appalling manner where they believe their only defence is to juxtapose their mistakes to that of their opponents and say, “our mess is better than that of opponents”.
Out of the over 70 radio stations in Accra, just a handful do something different with their morning shows which either focused on sports or entertainment. As a nation, we waste too much time and resources discussing partisan politics which yield little or no results. We cannot continue to do the same things over and over again and expect any different results.
If the media desire to see developments and improve the lives of Ghanaians, it must prioritize the individuals who get the opportunity to be on their platforms. They must carefully select persons with the requisite expertise and in-depth knowledge on specific topics. Furthermore, attention should be given to field players who work tirelessly to drive Ghana’s transformational agenda.
My 2023 resolution is to listen to and watch experienced personalities and experts dominating the airwaves, contributing to developmental conversations and sharing their knowledge on pertinent issues related to national growth. Also, if media houses could concentrate on the various sectors of the economy, delve into issues related to the sector and invite competent industry players for comprehensive discussions then Ghana will be a better place for all.