Military/State Influence Killed Creative Writing – Prof Karikari

Professor Kwame Karikari delivering the lecture

Dean
of the School of Communication Studies of Wisconsin International University
College, Professor Kwame Karikari, has indicated that influence by military and
one party government on state-owned media killed creative, imaginative and
critical journalism in Ghana. 

“State-owned
press in my estimation were very strong in promoting national consciousness and
the development agenda of governments but the state-owned press have been
largely pro-government and, therefore, they have contributed to the stunting of
creative, imaginative and critical journalism,” he said.

Prof.
Karikari noted that despite the control by governments at that time, Ghana
still produced some extraordinary column writers like Ms. Elizabeth Ohene and
Ms. Ajoa Yeboah Afari, both of whom expressed their views through their
writings.

He,
however, said that the trend changed with the introduction of multiparty system
which gave birth to watchdog and investigative journalism pioneered by
journalists like Kofi Koomson of the Chronicle.
There had been some progress in journalism in modern times, he added.

Prof.
Karikari who doubles as the board chair of the Graphic Communications Group
mentioned this when he delivered the first Ghana Journalists Association (GJA)
70th Anniversary Public Lecture in Accra.

It
was the first of three public lectures lined up by the GJA, on the advice of
its 70th Anniversary National Planning Committee (NPC), to discuss pertinent
issues in the media landscape.

He
was speaking on the topic: “Journalism yesterday and today: Re-positioning
media with technology”.

Touching
on the impact of technology on the media, Prof. Karikari said although the introduction
of technology in mass communication had yielded some positive results, it had
brought a new challenge of what is known as ‘fake news’.

He
stressed the need for journalists in traditional media to ensure that these new
technologies were made more positive for the news in mass communication.

Prominent
journalist Ms. Elizabeth Ohene who chaired the event observed the need for the
media to maintain high standards of professionalism in the production of
content which is critical in journalism.

The
public lecture was attended by media practitioners, academics, politicians,
civil society activists and representatives of international partners of the
GJA.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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