News Editor for Adom FM Afia Pokua, aka ‘Vim Lady’, says she would not be cowed into docility by her critics who accuse her of being overly assertive in her work as a journalist.
Afia told NEWS-ONE in an interview that she has heard her critics describe her with all sorts of adjectives but the criticisms and attacks have rather challenged her to get “more assertive and even crazy” on air.
“I have heard worse things than people saying I am assertive. I have heard people say I am too-known, I have heard them say I am too bold, then they say I am feisty, then they say I am insulting, then they say I am disrespectful; but the basic thing that any journalist does is to ask questions, and you know that in this our job, when you ask questions, you have to be cynical in asking your questions,” Afia told NEWS-ONE.
Explaining why she has adopted that attitude, Afia said: “You cannot believe everything that you hear. More so in this country like ours where we have seen politicians lie. And this is not limited to politicians; public officials and others say things that tend not to be true yet they get away with it.
“It is left unto us, journalists, to ask the question. So yes, we may be seen as being overly assertive because we are asking questions. Another thing that accounts for this is that, our society is not used to questioning elders and people in authority. But that has been the bane on our problems. If Nkrumah had not challenged the status quo, he would not have won us independence.
“So yes, they say I am too assertive but I shall continue to be too assertive and right now, I think that this incident has toughened me some more and I shall continue to be feisty and crazy; and they should wait for me because I am going to be crazier on air. We need to ask the questions that need to be asked,” Afia Pokua added.
The broadcast journalist also called on owners of media houses in the country to be proactive when it comes to the subject of attacks on journalists.
“I just think that media owners should support journalists in their work and not wait for attacks. We know the attitude of media owners towards some of these things. The last time I was at BBC, they told us they give some military training to their reporters who go to areas deemed to be unsafe. Maybe it has come to a time journalists need to go through martial arts training and all that. This is because people won’t stop attacking us. They do not understand our job. When politicians are appointed they are sent to GIMPA for a few days’ training in governance and administration, but I think media studies should be part of this training.
“Generally politicians tend to see journalists as people coming to worry them. They forget that they owe the public some explanations; and the journalist is only seeking information to explain things to the public. What is even more disappointing is with journalist and media people who now find themselves in government. I was thinking they would have helped their colleagues understand our job better,” she concluded.