General News of Saturday, 17 March 2018
Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, a Media Consultant, has described the activities of prophets, who prophesied death of people, as an abuse of Christianity which should not be tolerated in the country.
“I thought Christianity is a vessel for enlightenment, how did Christianity become you come, you will be wealthy, you will die in three days, you will die painful death. For how long should we wait and tolerate this phenomenon to sink too deep to the bottom that we cannot rescue it,” she added.
According to her, it was time for the orthodox churches like the Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and others to come out to speak against this “foolish act” to save the country from the menace of fear and panic.
Dr Dartey said this at the 80th anniversary lecture of the Catholic Standard newspaper in Accra on the theme: “The Catholic Standard: 80 years of Promoting Integral Human Development in Ghana”.
She said the Catholic Standard used to be the voice of reason, authority, rationality, conscience for the country and that it was time the newspaper return to those days to help solve societal problem to enhance our democracy and development.
Dr Dartey noted that the country was lacking that balance in journalism in that some media houses write to suit a particular political party unlike the Catholic Standard that was neutral in its reportage across all sectors.
“We need the Catholic Standard that stood on high moral values to do something to help wage the religious war which has engulfed the country recently”.
She was of the view that the newspaper should become the standard bearer of newspapers and of Journalism, adding that the country needed the newspaper to return to the newsstands actively as it used to be and not distributed like secret documents during Church masses.
Dr Dartey stated that the newspaper since its establishment in 1938 rescued the country from the culture of silence because it stood for the truth, it was not afraid to publish issues of national discourse.
She however, expressed the fear that the newspaper had lost its relevant in modern trends and implored authorities to bring back the tenets of the newspaper, touching on the truth and wide range of national issues irrespective of a political party.
Dr Anthony Bonnah Koomson, former lecturer, School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, mentioned political interference as one of the hindrances that collapsed the newspaper in the Military regime for which it revoked the licence.
He said it took the intervention of the leadership of the Catholic Church to dialogue with former President John Rawlings for the licence to be given back to restart publication.
He charged the leadership of the newspaper to be abreast with social media and integrate into their content, resort to real time reporting such as exclusive interviews and engage in solution Journalism by determining what was relevant to the country’s development.
Ambassador Kabral Blay Amihere, a former Chairman of the National Media Commission, said the Catholic Church contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of the country through schools, health facilities among others.
He posited that the newspaper was the mouthpiece to disseminate timely and effective information to the public on happenings in the country from politics to sanitation, hoping the newspaper would re-visit its values to be more visible.