A Lecturer at the History and Political Science Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) and Acting President of the Garden City University College Kumasi, Dr. Wilhemina Donkor, has warned that Ghana could be next in line for a state of political unrest if excesses in the Ghanaian media landscape are not checked.
Speaking on Ultimate Radio’s 6th March series, Dr. Donkor expressed utmost disappointment at the kind of language, discourse, posturing and sensationalism put up by some media houses when discussing national and political issues.
In a rather passionate demeanor, Dr. Wilhemina Donkor, whose birthday coincides with the nation Ghana, said “the media has a huge role and responsibility to play in society but I am afraid, the next political unrest in Ghana would be started by the media”
Although she acknowledged that some media houses such as the Kumasi-based Ultimate Radio were allowing balanced discourse, she was worried there still remained a large number of radio stations in the country that were still engaged in delivering unwholesome reportage to the larger populace.
She suggested that the media shifted focus from unproductive and inflammatory reportage to a more responsible and development oriented journalism that can alleviate the many challenges in the country.
“The media must recognize the responsibility and the trust that has been vested in them and carry out their work well. They should inform us, they should educate us” she advised.
Dr. Wilhemina Donkor further emphasized the need for factual reportage and urged radio and newspapers to arm themselves with comprehensive information they would require from relevant institutions before appearing on air.
“Call in the relevant institutions, bring in the NCCE, ask yourselves what the constitution says about the topics you are treating. Inform yourselves so that when you are also talking, you will speak on authority and speak from facts,” she admonished.
Also speaking on Ultimate Radio’s 6th March series and how far the country has come after 57 years of independence, the Ashanti Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education, Alhassan Yakubu, shared similar sentiments about the way national issues were discussed and insults hurled on national leaders. According to Mr. Alhassan Yakubu, Ghanaians are gradually getting engrained in overstepping the boundaries of rights to certain freedoms into a total disregard for authority.
“We talk too much and do little. Especially when it comes to freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and people tend to abuse the freedoms we have carved out for ourselves in the constitution going as far as tarnishing people’s image, and talking carelessly about opinion leaders, chiefs and people who are of standing in the society,” he bemoaned.
He urged Ghanaians to draw from the spirit of unity that comes with the history of the Independence Day celebration. He said “the laid-back attitude of Ghanaians towards development issues must change for a massive transformation”.