‘Charlatans’ and ‘extortionists’ have invaded sports journalism in Ghana Kwabena Yeboah

One of Ghana’s leading sports hacks Kwabena Yeboah has widened the debate over the state of sports journalism in the country by slamming the growing number of ‘charlatans’ masquerading as sports journalists and shockingly revealed that some of them are ‘extortionists’.

Despite the ‘deliberate provocation’ of officialdom by some of these journalists, one of Ghana’s revered sports journalists says officials must not treat reporters with disdain even if the face of clear provocation.

The quality of sports journalism in Ghana has come under scrutiny over the past few months as two journalists Kofi Asare ‘Abatay’ Brako and Patrick Agyemang ‘Countryman Songo’ a radio Asempa FM will be heading to court next month on libel charges for claims directed Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi.

Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga reignited the debate by lamenting the line of questioning by some journalists following Ghana’s second place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ayariga branded questions over the Black Stars budget as ‘useless’ with the minister arguing that quality journalism would be exploring how the team can continue to improve from its excellent showing at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea.

Ghana FA’s Director of Communications Ibrahim Sannie Daara was also in the news some few days later when described as ‘bonkers’ a thought by Peace FM journalist Dan Kweku Yeboah that the Black Stars must not be given Jeep Cherokee gifts proposed by a private company Tannick Ghana for finishing second at the AFCON because one of the players in the team owns a Bentley.

The recent developments and persistent complaints by the GFA that some sports journalists are bent on running down the leaders of the federation with false reports and claims has led to debates about quality of sports journalism in the country.

Kwabena Yeboah has shockingly revealed that some sports journalists in the country use blackmail in the practice of the trade while others are neck deep in charlatanry.

“We cannot run away from the fact that there are a number of charlatans parading as journalists,” Kwabena Yeboah said in an interview on Joy FM sports programme on Saturday when asked about the current state of sports journalism in Ghana.

“There are a number of personalities in the system pretending to be (sports) journalists. These are called charlatans. In some extreme cases these are extortionists who can really really provoke officialdom.”

While lamenting how some sports journalists have carried themselves over the past few years, Yeboah says officials must also respect reporters even if they have been provoked.

“Having said that I think it is the responsibility of officialdom to be decent, decorous and to answer questions that is relevant even if they don’t make sense,” Yeboah, who is revered for his years of working in the trade with excellence.

“I don’t think you need to be disdainful and contemptuous of the questions being asked in the manner the Minister of Youth and Sports presented himself.

“As much as some journalists can be very deliberately provocative and tend to be mischievous and malevolent, I do not think in this particular instance of the questions about the budget the Minister got it right.”

The debate over the state of sports journalism in Ghana will continue unabated.

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