When The Media Destroy In The Name Of Freedom
The media, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, have done well for ourselves. We were at the fore-front for the agitation to get this society to democratise after eleven and a half years of the culture of silence. Since 1992, when a new Constitution was promulgated to direct the conduct of state policy, the media have done well to inform, educate, and entertain the Ghanaian society.
Like the person who always fetches the water, we have broken the pot on a number of occasions. Invariably, the members of society have called us a few unpleasant names, and allowed us to get on with our lives. One of the areas we have been found wanting over the years, has been our gate-keeping role. That is our ability to decide which of the many rumours doing the rounds, deserve to be promoted as a story for the consumption of the general population.
In more ways than one, the media have raised storm over matters which normally should have been allowed to pass without the heat generated around them. It is obvious that most Ghanaians are disappointed by the failure of the national soccer team, the Black Stars, to win the 29th African Cup of Nations, which ended in South Africa, three weeks ago.
Following this disappointment, the media in Ghana, unfortunately, have failed big time in our gate-keeping role. What is even more bizarre is that while almost all leading media houses in Ghana sent credible reporters to South Africa, most media houses have tended to rely on a mere rumour peddled by a character, most of these media house cannot verify as credible, to serious disaffection in the matrimonial home of one Ghana’s most reliable footballers, and virtually ended his professional career prematurely.
The frenzied reports about a so-called sex-scandal in the Black Stars camp bandied about in the Ghanaian media is the major reason why star-performer John Paintsil had that fracas with his wife Richlove, and induced him to attempt to take his own life . The repercussions of all these unprofessional conducts have put into motion the kind of confusion which clearly, has put Ghana football into crisis.
The Chronicle is inviting the various media houses using their outlets to undermine Ghana football on the word of a so-called Appiah Stadium, to revisit the tenets of the profession. How could Appiah Stadium’s word be more reliable than the reporters these media houses sent to South Africa?
The Chronicle is unable to accept the mediocrity being promoted in the name of journalism to underline our football, when credible reporters sent by the individual media houses could be more reliable. We are inviting the Ghana Journalists Association and the National Media Commission to intervene to stop the shameful assault on the integrity of the journalistic profession, in the course of which we have created this gigantic crisis in Ghana football.
In the interim, our thoughts are with John Paintsil and his family. We would like to believe that the Ghana Football Association and the Ministry of Sports would use their good offices to help mend the broken home of the Paintsils.
John Paintsil was one of the brightest spots in the Black Stars mis-adventure in South Africa. It is not fair to use the media to destroy him and his entire family.
Freedom to operate as media houses does not grant licenses to the individual houses to destroy reputations that have been built over the years. Surely, we can and have to do better!
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