General News of Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah has expressed worry over the high rate of unprofessionalism in journalism in recent times.
Speaking at a stakeholder engagement on support for media freedom in Ghana, Mr. Braimah noted how the quality of journalism has been greatly affected because content creation is often ‘mixed up’ with reportage.
He was emphatic about the need for a distinct separation of ‘news media’ from all other forms of ‘new media’ and content creation from journalistic writing.
“When we begin to separate news media from just anything that is media; mobile phone is new media, google is media, facebook is media, but they are not producing content. In that same vein, a blogger is producing content but what we have to ask is, is he or she doing journalism or just content creation and using media platforms to put out those contents. Until we come to that differentiation, we will still be in this problem.
Mr. Braimah also noted that concept of ‘fake news’ is a fallacy. According to him, news, considering its informative and educative role cannot be considered fake in any context.
In like manner he said, anything that is fake cannot be associated with news because then the ‘news’ element would have been distorted. For him, the ‘fake news’ term is only used by some persons to push their selfish agenda.
“Where for example people are talking about fake news. I’m saying perhaps it’s a fake term because as we know it when it is news, it cannot be fake and when it is fake, it cannot be news. Fake news as we use it and try to confuse the whole system perhaps is a fake term that is serving some people’s interest but when it is news, it cannot be fake and when it is fake, it cannot be news as we know it journalistically”.
The forum organized by the Afrobarometer team and led by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) saw major stakeholders from the media fraternity participating.