When the Fourth Estate Falls
The problem with politicians and political parties owning media outfits (radio, TV, etc.) is that they are able to do propaganda as much as they want, project their parties and political ideologies, whether good or bad, and inevitably misinform and miseducate the public. Even when they don’t have their own radio or TV stations, they end up contracting some media personalities who then cultivate the corrupt habit of turning a blind eye to or sidestepping major issues and asking frivolous questions when they get the opportunity.
How many media houses and media personalities are talking about Government’s corrupt dealings in the Ghanaian oil and gas sector?
Take a good look at the Volta Region for instance. There are no less than 4 radio stations owned by NPP party people and despite the attempt to be unbiased in their reportage and during their morning shows, you can still see where they are headed and what the long term-term strategy is.
Even radio stations that claim to be unaffiliated to political parties, end up inviting only NDC and NPP reps on their morning shows. I don’t even know who told them that you can’t have a morning show and discussions without NPP-NDC reps in the studio.
It’s mediocre really and a tacit promotion and endorsement of the duopoly.
We need experts discussing national and topical issues, not NDC and NPP representatives.
You owe us, the public, that duty. We don’t want politically biased takes on issues, we need expert opinions.
Edmund Burke said the Fourth Estate is the most powerful, most important and most influential among the four arms of government, and he is right.
The media can affect and influence public participation in politics, serve as a platform to educate or miseducate the masses, and when political persons and parties start owning media houses, that’s when the public is deceived, becomes less politically conscious, and not able to think and see the duopoly for what it is.
A political pact that desires to keep the general populace ignorant in order to perpetuate their stranglehold on Ghanaian politics.
If we are ever going to reverse the damage politically biased journalism is causing in Ghana, we need to own media outfits and also make judicious use of the internet and word-of-mouth.
If you can’t fight the information wars, forget it. You are not making inroads and you can’t get enough people informed and moving in opposition to the duopoly.
Get people and groups signed up, develop a clear strategy, put an organizational structure in place, democratize every decision making process, and then move.
This fight is bigger than any of us, but you can’t discount the role of individuals, you can’t alienate anyone. You shouldn’t.
We are all in this together.
We are doing this.
Let’s do this.
By Stan Dugah
StantheStoryTeller / Shop@torsaa
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